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The Divorce ChecklistA divorce checklist like this one can help you prepare for your divorce. Well, as well as you can be prepared for divorce. During this difficult time, it’s easy to forget things and skip important steps that could make the overall experience easier to navigate. Having a divorce checklist is the next best thing to a personal assistant who can help you do what you need to do when you need to do it. Divorce is difficult in more ways than one. You will find yourself putting a significant emphasis on financial and legal details. Use this divorce checklist to keep from slipping up.

1. Gather and organize your financial records.

Hopefully, you are a meticulous record keeper; otherwise, this will be more trouble than it should be. You should immediately begin gathering and organizing your financial records. Items such as your tax returns, proof of income, spouse’s proof of income, mortgages, and bank statements should be included. Here is a full checklist of the financial records you may want to have on hand. Keep in mind that there are some of these you probably won’t need. It varies from person to person. Once you have your records organized, make copies and give them to a trusted friend or family member for safe keeping. Do not keep your only copy in your home. Even if you and your spouse are parting ways amicably, this is still just a smart idea.

2. Open a P.O. box.

A post office box is the most secure way you can receive mail. Sensitive documents and correspondence from your attorney is limited to whoever has key access to your box. Ideally, that should only be you. In addition, you can receive other mail in this manner such as your financial documents or insurance papers. Since your mail only has to go to the post office, you may receive it a bit faster and the risk of a mail carrier losing it is completely eliminated.

3. Stay single.

Now is no time to play the field. Staying single is just the wise thing to do. You are already pushing yourself to the limit in other ways. Why stir in a new relationship to complicate not only your emotions, but your divorce as well. Starting a new relationship before you’ve completely ended the previous one is a sign that some professional counseling might do you good. Not to mention, that new relationship, regardless of when it began, can become a point of contention in your divorce proceedings. Infidelity in an at-fault state could become your worst nightmare.

4. Separate your finances from those of your partner.

You need access to your finances, and they need to be your finances. On many occasions, we see women who don’t have access to their own finances because their husband pays the bills. That must change abruptly when you are going through a divorce. There is no longer any reason to maintain joint accounts no matter how it might simplify things. This includes joint credit cards!

5. Change your emergency contacts and your will.

Make the necessary changes to exclude your spouse from your entire life because that is what divorce is. If you have included your spouse as an emergency contact or beneficiary in your will, insurance, or anywhere else, you need to update this information as soon as possible.

6. Get support.

Whether that support is professional or just your best friend, make sure you don’t skip this step. You must take care of yourself on all fronts during a divorce. This is a traumatic time, probably one of the most traumatic of your life. It is certainly no time to be letting your crazy hang out. Make sure to keep yourself in check mentally and emotionally.

Wrap Up

Divorce is no small thing. As life-changing as marriage is as a coming together process, divorce is the exact opposite. The rending of your marriage can really take a toll. That’s why we put together this divorce checklist. What’s missing? Let us know in the comments!

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