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Divorce: A How-to Checklist



The decision to file for divorce can be a difficult one that can require much consideration. If you do deem the marriage unsalvageable, the decision to file for divorce may be best. However, this is only the beginning of the divorce process. It is at this point that you may need to seek legal advice from a lawyer regarding how to divorce.

How to Divorce

The following is a checklist that will help guide you through the divorce process. Note that because every marriage is different, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to help who can offer customized legal advice on how to divorce.

  • Collect important documents relevant to the divorce proceedings to hand over to your lawyer. These documents include financial records, such as tax returns, pay stubs and investments, as well as documents relating to the ownership of property and personal belongings, such as titles for houses, land and cars. Download a free Divorce Worksheet to help you gather this information.
  • Keep a calendar of important dates relevant to your divorce proceedings. This will include any court dates at which you are required to appear. You will want to discuss with your lawyer the divorce timeline, especially if you want to know how to divorce swiftly.
  • Separate your financials from your spouse's immediately. This includes creating separate checking accounts and applying for separate credit cards.
  • If you have children or other dependents, you will want to discuss arrangements regarding these dependents with your spouse as soon as possible.
  • If you currently receive health insurance through your spouse, you will need to look into getting your own health insurance, whether from your employer or another resource.
  • If you have a will, revise it. If you do not, talk to your attorney about drafting a will. In your will, you will want to include any provisions for your children in the event of your death. You should also discuss with your attorney who you would like to raise your children in the event of your death after you file for divorce.
  • Notify all relevant parties about your new single status. This includes your employer, health insurance provider and life insurance provider.

Talk to Your Lawyer

Because your lawyer will be helping you file for divorce and explaining how to divorce, it is important that you maintain regular communication with him or her. A major component of this dialogue is asking questions. Your lawyer is there to answer any questions you may have about the divorce proceedings. In addition, asking the right questions can help inform your lawyer about any unique circumstances you might be facing in your divorce proceedings.

Here are some questions you should consider asking your lawyer:

  • What can I do to help make the divorce as quick and easy as possible?
  • What documents do I need to collect for you?
  • How will financials and child custody be handled?