HomeMarriageBefore the Papers: Your Proactive Divorce Planning Checklist

Before the Papers: Your Proactive Divorce Planning Checklist

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Divorce is a life-altering event that can be emotionally and financially draining. Whether you’re contemplating divorce or it’s already on the horizon, proactive planning is crucial. This divorce planning checklist will guide you through the legal process, helping you make informed decisions that shape your post-divorce life.

Understanding the process


The first thing to do on the divorce checklist is to grasp the divorce process. Familiarize yourself with the legal steps and requirements for a smooth journey.

Consult with a divorce lawyer

Seek the guidance of a reputable lawyer specializing in family law, like a Fayetteville divorce attorney. They will be your advocates and provide valuable insights into your specific situation.

Learn about laws

Understanding the divorce laws in your state is crucial. These laws can vary significantly, affecting issues such as contested divorce, property division, child custody, and spousal support.

Consider an amicable divorce

If possible, aim for an amicable divorce. It can save you time, money, and emotional turmoil. Mediation or collaborative divorce processes may be options to explore.

Gather important documents

Collect all relevant paperwork, including marriage certificates, birth certificates, financial and bank account statements, tax returns, and marital debt details.

Assess your financial situation

Take a close look at your financial accounts, assets, and debts. This step is essential for equitable distribution.

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Create a list of all your accounts

Compile a comprehensive list of your accounts, including bank accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.

Review insurance policies

Examine your life insurance policy and health insurance coverage. Determine if changes are needed post-divorce.

Consult a financial advisor

Certified divorce financial analysts (CDFA) can make financial documents to help you navigate the financial complexities of divorce and plan for your post-divorce life.

Obtain your credit report

Request a free credit report to assess your credit history and identify any joint accounts that need to be addressed.

Evaluate your marital home

Decide what to do with your marital home, considering factors such as rent or mortgage costs and their impact on your post-divorce life.

Legal preparations

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Prepare legal documents

Work with your divorce attorney to complete the necessary documents, including petitions and financial disclosures.

Discuss child custody and support

If you have children, create a parenting plan that outlines custody arrangements and child support agreements.

Consider safety and domestic abuse

If there are concerns about domestic or substance abuse, prioritize your safety and that of your children. Seek appropriate legal protection.

Secure powers of attorney

Review and update powers of attorney, ensuring they reflect your post-divorce wishes for healthcare and financial matters.

Plan for spousal support

Discuss spousal support or alimony arrangements with one spouse and your attorney, considering your spouse’s income and financial needs.

Planning for post-divorce life

Life after divorce may require adjustments and planning for a fresh start. Review documents and update your estate plans, including wills and beneficiaries on accounts.

Remember, divorce is not the end of a life plan but a new beginning. Embrace the opportunity to travel and create a fulfilling post-divorce life.

Last words

Divorce is a challenging process, but proactive planning can make it more manageable. By following this divorce planning checklist, you’ll be better prepared for divorce’s legal, financial, and emotional aspects. Remember that seeking professional advice from family law attorneys and financial experts is essential to ensuring a smooth transition to your post-divorce life.

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