Preparing for a Divorce: The Only Printable Divorce Checklist You Need.

Divorce is complicated with mixed emotions, legal norms, and financial risks. Getting separate affects many aspect of your life like division of the property, taking child custody, and financial stresses. This is why our defined divorce checklist will guide you on how to do everything in an organized manner. Let us see below a definitive printable checklist to prepare for your divorce.

STEP 1: The indispensable

Taking care of children:

When marriage ends, you feel nothing wrong in getting divorced. But ever thought of its impact on your children. Yes, you should deal very sensitively and honestly with your children during this period.

  • Sit and make a child plan – What is the best arrangement for your children’s custody?
  • Inform the school of the important details about your new family situation.
  • Talk to your child and be open to their questions with answerable. Let them speak up and take decision of their future.
  • Link your bank accounts to help nurture your child’s future (education and career).
  • Take your child’s custody as they decide. Encourage playing activities together with kids and remind that you will always be there for them.
  •  

Possessions:

  • Dividing personal belonging is another stressful part, although it is a pertinent process to be carried out at first place.
  • Do not go for long arguments, and negotiate in advance on who gets what on the final day.
  • Make the divorce process run smoothly with fair decision on both the parties. Sort out on dividing things like jewellery, antique, artworks, and collectibles among each other.
  • Financial management of the family is a big challenging part during a divorce. Manage this process by making decisions in advance, and plan to take the responsibilities accordingly.
  • Decide on taking the care of a pet (if you have any).

The Family Home:

  • Apart from the kids, the family home usually comes in second place of the most important subject to discuss. There is no specific rule or formula on deciding how assets like this can be split up during a divorce. It depends on your own situation. Ideally, one of you should keep the house. It makes everything easier for the kids.
  • If the family home is registered on both your names, you have the right to claim to stay in the family home.
  • Couples often need to downsize after divorce. One of you will have to get ready to move.

STEP 2: Documents to carry for a divorce

Financial Documents:

It is important for both spouses to provide all document for settling their finances. Financial disclosure forms usually include copies of your employment records, tax returns, and bank accounts. Take a look into the required financial documents for a divorce.

  • Income Tax Returns:
    Keep at least three previous years copies of tax return while going for a divorce. Obtain your tax returns from the State Tax Agencies.
  • Employment Records:
    You need to disclose your employment record during the divorce proceedings. This helps both spouses (if both are working) to sidestep being held liable for invasion of privacy or defamation.
  • Financial Records (such as bank statements and loan information):
    Both spouses need to submit their bank statements, and any loan information clearly to their lawyers. If they have a joint account, then sharing money will be decided.
  • Investment Account Statements:
    Beneficiaries if any exist on your investment accounts including bank accounts, insurance policies, and other accounts need to be submitted for divorce. Call the bank or a broker in advance in case you want to change them with needing your spouse’s signature.
  • Pension Plan Information:
    A pension earned before getting divorce is usually considered as a joint asset for both spouses.
  • Retirement Savings Accounts:
    When decided to get divorced, if your spouse possesses an employer-sponsored pension plan (i.e. retirement plan), then you are legally permitted to part of the balance stating that you have no prenuptial agreement stated.
    Children’s Bank Accounts:
    Submit your child’s bank accounts or insurance policies if you have registered any. These should be used only for your child’s future, for studies and career.
  • Debt Records:
    Most often, debts acquired in a marriage are to be split. Make an effort not to back up with any debt along with your divorce procedures.
  • Wills and Trust Agreements:
    Wills and trusts play a critical part even without divorce, and it becomes more complicated during a divorce. Wills can’t be changed and thus both parties need to follow as stated. Many spouses handle estate planning together, and so both have the right to get a beneficiary of the asset.
  • Social Security Statements:
    It is mandated to provide with your social security statement during divorce proceedings. It acts as a valuable resource for financial planning in your divorce.

Assets:

The most pivotal thing to consider before divorce is to understand what each individual brought together from their marriage. A divorce attorney can help you more with this.

  • Marital Home Information:
    A home that you share with your spouse and children is the “Martial Home.” If the house is a joint property, the state law governs and decides on dividing the asset in most cases.
  • Information on any other Real Estate:
    Real estate is the major assets, and so it is a little complicated to divide these shared assets during a divorce.
    If the property being purchased before marriage, then the asset wholly belongs to that spouses after divorce.
    If the property purchased after marriage then the asset might be converted into a martial asset.
  • Vehicle Information:
    Assets in divorce also includes the vehicles like cars, motorcycles, trucks, and more.
    If the spouse has bought the vehicle paying his own, then the complete right goes to that person, required the documents to be registered under his name.
    If both spouses have invested in buying the vehicle (say car), and registered on both names, then 50% ownership is considered.

Personal documents:

  • The date of marriage:
    You can apply for a divorce even without a marriage certificate. But you need to remember the date of your marriage, and provide proof-including marriage photo, wedding cards, and social identification number, if required. A witness from both the parties might be asked to come on the day of divorce.
  • The birthdates for you and your spouse:
    Provide proofs or certificates that state both spouses birth dates.
  • Children information:
    The court might ask you to submit your children documents to decide on the custody, specifically in the case of a minor child. Birthdate of your child, their education details, and others shall be asked to present during divorce.
  • Social security numbers for you and your spouse:
    Both spouses need to provide their social security numbers to get registered for divorce. You divorce will be filed and identified based on your social security numbers.
  • Information about previous marriages and divorces:
    If you or your spouse are engaged in any previous marriages and divorced, you might need to submit that information as well. To verify your character and responsibility towards family relationship, this information is mandated.
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements:
    A prenuptial agreement is a type of contract entered into before marriage. A postnuptial agreement is a type of contract entered after marriage.
    The content present in these agreements might vary considerably, but usually include the property division, family support, and spouse support during the events like death, dissolution of marriage, or death.
  • Insurance policies:
    Insurance policies are overlooked during a divorce. Provide with insurance policy documents if you have any. Submit the details of joint policies, individual life insurances, child insurance, and other details.

Divorces aren’t so easy to make. There are lots of procedures to be followed with mutual understanding. You should be prepared well in prior on why you need to get separated. Children are mostly affected with parents getting separated. Prepare your child and don’t make it hard on then during and after the divorce. Do you best to keep everything good in place, follow the guiding steps provided here, and get a new life started ahead.  

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