Here’s a useful divorce checklist highlighting items to consider if you are planning for a divorce:
1. Your Approach.
If you have not talked with your spouse about a divorce, consider what you will say and how you will discuss this in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Be calm and discuss your decision in a way that does the least amount of emotional damage.
2. Where to Live, a Budget and Other Details for Separating.
Most courts in Ohio have an unwritten rule that they do not permit spouses to remain in the same household while they are undergoing a divorce. You should consider where you and your children, if you have them, will live upon separating. Make a plan that includes information and a budget to make the separation possible. If you are not working, you should not consider or count on financial support from the other spouse. You should consider seeking employment immediately.
3. A Post Office Box.
If you are moving to another residence, consider opening a post office box so that you will not lose any important paperwork in the mail.
4. Stay Single.
If at all possible, do not start a new relationship once you have separated from your spouse. Furthermore, the emotional trauma that a person will be undergoing once they separate from their spouse will be compounded by entering into a new relationship while one is going through the divorce process.
The most important aspect of a divorce case is how you approach your children. You need to explain the situation and how you will help them through the process. Discuss school changes. Discuss visitation and also explain that the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent their interest.
You will need to have each party’s full name and their date of birth and social security number, each party’s full address and phone number (work, home, cell), the date and county of the marriage and the state. You will also need names, birthdates, social security numbers for each of the children, the name and addresses of the children’s schools, copies of material contracts such as an antenuptial agreement, information about any previous legal proceedings involving either spouse. You should also be prepared to provide to your attorney all bank statements, tax returns, employment records, credit card statements, real estate deeds and mortgage documents and any information regarding investments and brokerage accounts, any information regarding pension, profit sharing, deferred compensation and retirement plans, any wills, estate or trust agreements, any insurance policy with cash value, vehicle information such as that Blue Book values can be obtained, inventory of safe deposit boxes, any family heirlooms, household property inventory and a personal credit report.
In order to ease the process, it may be beneficial for you to discuss the divorce process with someone who has already gone through it. You also may want to consider professional counseling to address the emotional issues associated with separation from a spouse.
8. Divorce File.
This is a file where you should keep all relevant documents and pleadings during the course of the divorce.
More Ways To Get Prepared
Get more information on what to plan for and what to expect by scheduling a free consultation with divorce attorney Jeff Hawkins at our law firm. The right amount of preparation and professional legal guidance are key elements when you go through a divorce.