Divorce Preparation Checklist
Did you ever wonder what you needed to do in order to get the ball rolling for your divorce? Here is a handy list for you. Step one: contact a divorce attorney.
Divorce Preparation Checklist, part one.First, copy important documents. Use a scanner or take a photo of all recent income tax returns, stock certificates, bonds, all bank accounts, real estate appraisals, loan applications, wills and trust documents, and if he or she owns a business, all tax returns, financial statements and bank records for the business for the last three years. Second, open a separate bank account only in your name. Do not do so at the same bank where your soon to be ex-spouse does his or her banking. Save as much money as you can to pay for an divorce attorney and your own expenses until a judge rules on support. Third, get a free copy of a credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. It'll list all credit cards and loans held by you and in joint. Close accounts to prevent abuse by your soon to be ex-spouse and double check that he or she has not opened a new account without your knowledge. Begin to establish credit in your own name. Fourth, if you have safe deposit box, ask the bank to require that both signatures are needed in order to open it. Make sure you inventory everything inside it and take pictures. Don't forget to open your own while you are there and use it to contain your own personal records.
Divorce Preparation Checklist, part two.Fifth, change passwords for ATM cards, home security systems, voice mailboxes, online access to bank accounts, e-mail accounts an online sites your shop on. Sixth, inventory household items and family possessions. Take pictures of high value items, including jewelry, silver, china, antiques, collectibles, art objects and household goods. Seventh, review Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives. Make sure to destroy anything that gives your soon to be ex-spouse any authority over your health and finances. Do the same with living wills and healthcare proxies. Eighth, always best the best interests of your child(ren) at the top of your list. Remember, typically during a divorce and sometimes after, children suffer the most. Be there for them as good parent, listen to them and validate their emotions. It's a good idea to take your kids with you and see a therapist during this difficult time.
Divorce Preparation Checklist, part three.Ninth, make a list of all mail received by you soon to be ex-spouse from various financial institutions, banks, insurance companies and credit card issuers. Record the addresses. Tenth, make sure your car is in good working condition. Have it tuned up by a mechanic. Eleventh, see a doctor and get a health examination including checking for STD's and an AIDS test, especially if you suspect adultery. If needed, undergo any treatments after your medical and dental examinations. Twelfth, do not sign any contracts, promissory notes, deeds, mortgages, or similar documents (for any property) at the request of your spouse. Thirteenth, it's hard to predict how your spouse will react to a divorce filing. You might want to withdraw your fair share of funds from a joint savings account or money market account; take possession of jointly held stocks, bonds, CDs, money market accounts; and possibly change the locks if your spouse no longer resides at your home. Fourteenth, and most importantly, keep a detailed diary of events, include dates, times, and relevant details regarding the comings and goings of your soon to be ex-spouse.