The Ultimate Divorce To Do List

divorce to do list
Did you prepare your divorce to-do list


  1. Do a pro and con list of leaving or staying together.
  2. Reach a decision and if it is “leave” then…
  3. Figure out who you want or need on your team and begin making initial calls.
  4. Gather important papers together (things for the properties, kids, bank & money, other evidence) and set them aside in a safe place.
  5. Write down deadlines by which you want to achieve certain milestones
  6. Make a list of witnesses if applicable.
  7. Get evidence from jointly owned computers if applicable.
  8. Wipe the computer server clean if necessary
  9. Figure out five different ways to tell your spouse you want out and write them down and practice them and choose the best method from your list
  10. If you can locate your spouse, determine a time and date to break the news
  11. If you don’t know where your spouse is, think about various options for service, including publication and social media.
  12. Tell the kids you are getting divorced – select a specific day and time to do it
  13. Tell your friends and family you are getting divorced. Write down who you will call first and what you will say
  14. Speak with your pastor or religious leader
  15. Get recommendations for divorce lawyers from friends
  16. Interview divorce lawyers
  17. Choose a divorce lawyer.
  18. Is custody of the kids going to be an issue?
  19. Do you want co-custody or no?
  20. Do a draft co-parenting plan
  21. How much child support will you need and what do the child support guidelines say?
  22. Make a list of assets and liabilities that you are aware of.
  23. Do you have a budget written down?
  24. Contact your accountant and/or tax specialist
  25. Get 3 years of tax returns at your fingertips for you and your spouse (if for some reason you didn’t file jointly)
  26. Interview divorce financial analysts
  27. Call in an appraiser to assess the value of the house
  28. Call credit card companies to see what is jointly owned
  29. Take the kids (and maybe yourself) to see a psychologist
  30. Check passports to make sure everybody’s is in order just in case
  31. Job hunt if applicable (send out a certain number of resumes in a certain amount of time)
  32. Where is your prenup? Get it out and review it.
  33. Are there outstanding joint loans?
  34. Are there student loans that need to be paid back?
  35. Inventory the household items
  36. Decide what you will do with furniture and housewares
  37. Will you need movers? How soon?
  38. Begin house hunting.
  39. Look at wills and insurance policies to see what needs to be changed
  40. Get police reports if necessary
  41. Take out a life insurance policy, as needed
  42. Review the life insurance policies you have in place
  43. Contact utility services to get your name off stuff.
  44. Will you need a name change post-divorce?
  45. Do you need to change your will?
  46. Do you need to change passwords on your computer?
  47. Did you sign any power of attorney that needs to be unsigned?
  48. Do you or your spouse own a business? Does it need a valuation done?
  49. Is there an art collection? Does it need a valuation?
  50. Are there cars and furnishings of value that need a valuation?
  51. Itemize strengths and weaknesses of your case and evaluate how you “look” to a divorce court

By Lawyer X author of Design Your Divorce in 10 Steps

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