Skip to Content

Divorce Preparation Checklist


It is not unusual for couples in the United States to realize that they have made a mistake in getting married. Divorce is a way to rectify that mistake, and approximately 50% of all marriages in the United States end with a divorce decree.

Divorce is a challenging process, even under conditions that are relatively favorable. However, there are steps that you can take to make it easier. Here are a few of the most important.

  1. Understand your finances

A significant portion of the divorce negotiation will focus on financial matters. For this reason, it is important to have a clear understanding of your money situation. This not only means your assets but your debts and tax obligations as well.

A new federal law recently went into effect that changes the taxation requirements for spousal support. Under the new law, you may not deduct alimony payments that you make from your income for tax purposes, and if you are receiving alimony, this money does not count as income for your taxes. This is a reversal of former tax laws governing spousal support.

  1. Get organized

During the divorce proceedings, you will need to produce a great deal of documentation to support your claims. Start gathering the necessary documents now and keep them together in one file. Keeping your documents well organized will help the process to go at least somewhat more smoothly.

  1. Make plans for your children

Of course, this refers to practical matters, such as custody arrangements, school changes, child support, etc. However, it also means creating a strategy to minimize the trauma that your children will go through due to the divorce and help them to cope with the challenges they will face as a result.

  1. Seek quality time with others

Your divorce will take up a large portion of your time and energy for the duration of the process. However, try to prevent it from becoming all-consuming. You should have a life outside of the divorce. That means making time to spend with friends and family. These represent your support network whom you can lean on when the divorce becomes too emotionally demanding or stressful. Sometimes this means having heart-to-heart talks in which you discuss what you are feeling, but other times it just means getting together to have fun and forget about the divorce proceedings for a while.