Your 5-Step Preparing For Divorce Checklist
If you are contemplating divorce, before you separate ensure you are prepared. We all would like to assume our partner, the one we fell in love with and respect, will be fair and honest during divorce. However, from my personal experience and from advice from a divorce lawyer, this may not be the case 100% of the time.
By pre-empting any possible conflict, think of the 5-Step Preparing For Divorce Checklist as homework. With everything in life, it is better to be pro-active as opposed to having to reflect in hindsight with the thought of ‘if only.’ If only will not help pay the school fees, pay the mortgage or rent.
Research by Relationships Australia confirm that one year following separation the average woman’s income drops by 42%. With statistics such as this, preparation for your successful future is a pre-requisite. As a divorce coach, this is part of what I help clients with who are moving towards divorce.
Here is your Preparing For Divorce Checklist:
Photocopy all Important Papers & Leave with Family or Friends
- Mortgage Papers.
- Lines of Credit.
- All Bank Accounts, whether they are in joint names or not.
- Superannuation Accounts.
- Recent pay stubs if employed.
- Tax Returns – past 3 years minimum.
- Insurance Papers.
- Vehicle registrations papers.
- Airline frequent flyer numbers.
- Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate
Contact Banks & All Financial Institutions & Government Bodies (Medicare)
- URGENTLY advise your Banks and Financial Institutions of separation to ensure there is no authority permitted on anything with your name on it to prevent future unauthorised draw-downs.
- Close down all lines of credit – to prevent any further limiting draining of funds.
- Create an inventory of the household items – This sounds petty, but if you have to replace many items, the costs can add up very quickly.
- Open a new account in your name only – redirecting any payments i.e. salary, Medicare to be paid directly to this account.
- Advise Medicare of new cards and bank account directions to be changed for only you and your children.
Change Your WILL and WHY?
If you are run over by a bus, your ex-wife or husband, not your children, will be the beneficiary of your superannuation and any financial items you own
- The most overlooked necessity in every separation that is vitally important for your children, is changing your Will. I cannot stress the importance of changing this document the MINUTE you have separated.
Change all passwords – including iCloud & iTunes
- Internet banking
- All passwords to all electronic and banking facilities need to be urgently changed
It seems a simple act, yet if you don’t change your passwords to email and iCloud, your emails can and will continue to be read by your ex.
Remove sentimental items from your home
- Jewellery from your grandmother or anything of sentimental value.
If you have any specific items that are sentimental to you – family photos, jewellery from your deceased grandmother, artwork – and are unsure on how your partner will react when you begin your separation, remove the items from your matrimonial home and place them with your mother or friend for safe-keeping. You may think I’m an alarmist, but the easiest way to hurt somebody is to take or break sentimental items.
Separation and divorce are life-changing events, and like everything in life, preparation is key. One of the most important factors when separating is to carefully choose the right time to discuss separation and financial negotiations. Don’t rush this discussion. Instead, be stoically patient at all times to create a calm and stress-free environment where you can sensibly discuss all factors that need to be addressed.
Divorce is not to be feared. It can be the beginning of your exceptional, extraordinary life, opening pathways for your future that you may never had envisioned.
Be smart, be educated and use the “Preparing For Divorce Checklist” to create the successful future you deserve.
Beyond Your Preparing For Divorce Checklist
I would also encourage you to learn how to save yourself money, stress and time as you progress through the divorce process. There are many things I had to learn the hard way during my divorce. These are things I don’t want you to have to endure.