New Years Divorce Checklist

Ensuring Complete Preparation

Getting a divorce is a big step to take and not one someone should take lightly. Much thought and careful planning should be put in when making this decision. Ensuring you are as prepared as possible for the process is key to helping your divorce go by more smoothly than you might anticipate.

To help you in your preparations for your divorce in the new year, consider the following checklist of items you should have prepared before filing.

Collect Important Documents Together

Divorce involves a lot of paperwork, and getting everything filled out and assembled can take a lot of time and effort. Before filing for divorce, you may want to gather as much important paperwork together as you can and put it in a safe place. You may want to consider the following documents:

  • Marriage license

  • Identification documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards

  • Bank account statements

  • Credit card statements

  • Copies of tax returns

  • Receipts for business transactions (mainly if you or your spouse own a business)

  • Documents proving ownership, such as vehicle titles or real estate deeds

  • Estate plan documents

  • Life insurance policies

  • Retirement account statements

  • Broker account statements

  • If applicable, a copy of your prenuptial/postnuptial agreement

While this is not an exhaustive list of documents you may need throughout your divorce, this should give you a good place to begin your search.

Begin Financial Preparations

Your financial life is going to change when your divorce is finalized. You will be losing a source of income when your spouse leaves, and depending on your situation, you may face child support payments or spousal maintenance payments. Add in your regular expenses and subtract any expenses related to your spouse, and your financial situation may not be completely clear until after your divorce.

Failing to plan your finances in advance is planning to financially fail. Too many people fall into the trap of not getting a projection of what their financial situation will look like after divorce. Begin making projections now as to what your income may look like with all factors considered, what your expenses will look like when your divorce is finalized, and begin planning the adjustments you may need to make.

Build Your Support Circle

No one should go through divorce alone; the process can be difficult and can cause a whirlwind of emotions. To help combat this, begin assembling your support circle made up of your most trusted family members and friends. These people will walk alongside you throughout your divorce and be available as a form of emotional support.

Who you choose to be in your support circle makes a big difference in how you advance throughout your divorce. The right people will listen, give advice, and ultimately empathize with you as you navigate this difficult time in your life.

Take Inventory of Your Assets

One of the most tedious parts in the early stages of divorce is putting together an itemized inventory of your assets for the property division step. You want to be sure that all of your assets are included, so accuracy is key. This required step in the process can take time, however.

Take time before you file for divorce to begin working on this step. Consider the following assets as you work on your list:

  • Money in bank accounts

  • Retirement accounts

  • Stocks/bonds

  • Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs)

  • Personal items such as jewelry or collectibles

  • Vehicles

  • Real estate

Anything you own should be listed in your inventory. If you need assistance, work with your divorce attorney or consider hiring a forensic accountant.

Consult with an Attorney

As mentioned, you should not go through a divorce alone. It’s wiser to have an expert by your side throughout the entirety of the process. Meet with an attorney who understands your situation and has helped many others before you work through even the most difficult divorce. At Jeff Gilbert Law Office, our team knows how big of a step divorce is to take. We will guide you throughout the process and advise you on how best to move forward as you begin looking toward your fresh start in life.

To learn more about divorce in Texas or to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at (979) 200-6556 or visit our website.