Life is busy. And complicated. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to throw us off course. When it comes to divorce, staying organized and on track is key — the divorce process itself can be challenging, emotionally draining, and stressful. Having a divorce checklist can guide you through the process, keeping you organized, focused, and saving you time and money.
1. Gather important documents
Prior to meeting with a divorce attorney, gather important documents. This may include – but not be limited to – any of the following:
- Income tax returns from the previous three to five years
- Business income tax returns from the previous three to five years
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Proof of income for you and your spouse
- Prenuptial agreement
- Pension statements
- 401K, IRA, and retirement account statements
- Copies of loans, mortgages, or other debt
- Property tax statements
- Life insurance policies
- Paperwork for other assets
- Last Will and Testament
- Powers of attorney
Collecting important financial and legal documents will get you organized, assist your attorney, and minimize stress down the road when the need for that document arises.
2. Create an inventory of your valuables
Take an inventory of personal property and indicate whether the item was owned by each spouse before the marriage, or if it was acquired after the marriage individually as a gift or by an inheritance. Personal property items may include jewelry, computers, artwork, home furnishings, clothing, antiques, etc. Remember to list the contents of any safe deposit boxes and any appraisals you have received.
3. Track your spending
Pay attention to your spending habits so you can create an accurate monthly budget. Don’t forget to include expenses such as school tuition, cost of children’s activities, utility bills, and unreimbursed medical expenses. Having these figures on hand will help with discussions concerning child and spousal support.
4. List parenting issues
Make a list of all the parenting issues to discuss as part of the divorce, including:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Health insurance
Bringing any family life issues to the attention of your attorney will assist when addressing these matters as part of the divorce process.
5. Think about life post-divorce
Many spouses focus on the divorce itself, feeling they can address life post-divorce once all the dust has settled after the divorce is finalized. But before broaching the subject of divorce or separation with your spouse, it is important to take a step back and consider your life post-divorce. Think about where you will live, your living expenses and your income, how children will be raised, how you will share the news of the divorce or separation with the children, and other matters. This last step is a catch-all of the things that make up your family life and how they will be handled post-divorce.
6. Contact a skilled Text divorce attorney
At the Law Offices of Kyle Whitaker, our divorce lawyers understand the challenges couples face when divorcing. Emotions run high. Patience runs low. And the process can be draining. Let us help. Our Fort Worth divorce attorneys are compassionate and knowledgeable, making the divorce process as smooth as possible for you and your family. Contact our office at 817-332-7703 or online to schedule a confidential consultation.