Pre-Divorce Checklist

Posted by Carlie Berke, CDFA®

July 23, 2018

Thinking Divorce? First things first. Use this checklist as a guide as you consider your options and your next steps. Being prepared makes the process a little less stressful for you and more efficient for everyone involved.

Plan On an Amicable Divorce Process

Try to set yourself and your spouse on a path for an amicable process. If you are going to be the spouse to pursue a divorce, how you go about it in the beginning is can set the tone. Develop a plan that is respectful and how you would want to be treated.

Run a Credit Report

This is the baseline for assessing your current financial situation and how you will move ahead on your own.

Develop a Budget

To be used before, during, and after the divorce process.

“Develop a plan that is respectful and how you would want to be treated.”

Have Access to Cash

Divorce costs money. Make sure you have access to cash and credit to pay for good advice and living expenses in the event your process becomes adversarial.

Create a Safe Place to Receive Information

A secure place to receive mail and digital information is essential.  Consider opening a post office box and new email account.

Change All of Your Passwords

Change your passwords on bank, brokerage and credit card accounts and on social media.

Open Bank and Credit Card Accounts in Your Own Name

If you don’t have a bank account and credit card in your own name, consider opening accounts that only you have access to.

“Change your passwords on bank, brokerage and credit card accounts and on social media.”

Copy All Financial Documents Available To You

Go through your house, file drawers, safe deposit box and copy or secure in a safe place key documents. Make sure you have copies of all key documents, bank, brokerage, retirement, mortgage, loan documents, inheritance, deeds, tax returns and any other financial records. Also get your original passport, social security card and birth certificates and store all documents outside of your home at family, friends, storage unit, etc.

Address All Medical And Dental and Other Costly Issues Before You Divorce

If you have any major expenses you have been putting off including medical, dental, car repairs, etc. take care of them before you proceed with divorce.

Take an Inventory of All Non-Marital Property

Remove personal, irreplaceable items from your home before the process begins.

Research Divorce Professionals and Divorce Methods to Determine the Best Course Of Action For You and Your Family

Get up the learning curve regarding how the divorce process works and search for workshops, books, etc. For example there is a book available on Amazon called “How to do Your Own Divorce in California” by Ed Sherman. Be prepared with questions when you meet with divorce professionals. Interview several to see who is the best fit for your situation.

At Your Money Advocate, we support you as you navigate all aspects of the financial part of your divorce process. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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