Georgia Divorce Checklist: How to Prepare for Your Divorce

Things to do to prepare for divorce include, but are not limited to, making copies of documents, listing joint and separate property, opening a new bank account, etc. This article will cover the first steps of divorce planning that you can take to make the preparation more efficient. Here is a detailed divorce preparation checklist you may need before starting the process.

1) Make Copies of Important Documents

When getting ready for divorce, you should find originals and prepare copies of papers related to your personal data, marriage, finances, etc. This point must be the first on your to-do list, which will help you prepare forms for filing with the court and decide on the divorce terms.

You would probably ask, “What documents do I need for divorce?” Their list may vary according to case-specific circumstances and include all or some of the following papers:

  • Financial statements
  • Retirement account statements
  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Tax returns
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Life insurance policies
  • Mortgage documents
  • Wills

2) Make a List of Everything You Own in Your Home

In a divorce process, you and your spouse should divide the property acquired during the marriage independently or with the judge’s intervention. Listing your separate possessions and preparing papers confirming your ownership are some of the ways of protecting assets before divorce and preventing your spouse’s attempts to change proprietary from sole to joint or vice versa.

3) Write Down How Much Money You Have and How Much You Spend

When planning for divorce, you should analyze your financial situation. You need to determine your income and expenses to assess whether you can afford the divorce costs and maintain a sufficient standard of living after the marriage ends. Depending on your income level, you may need to ask the court for an exemption from filing fees or granting alimony.

4) Analyze Family Debt

In the process of getting a divorce, you and your spouse need to divide family debt and all marital assets and liabilities. You should analyze in advance whether you will be able to pay it, refinance it, etc. If you can’t cover the mortgage after the divorce, you should consider selling the house or buying out your share by the other party.

5) Learn How Much Money Your Husband or Wife Makes

Additional things to consider when divorcing are your spouse’s income and the difference between your and their financial situations. If the other party’s profits are significantly higher than yours, or you cannot support yourself without your spouse’s help, you can file a request for the appointment of spousal maintenance and/or child support with the court.

6) Check Your Credit Report and Credit Score

When filing for divorce, you should analyze your credit history to understand your current position in this respect. It is important if you plan to take out a loan after a divorce or seek to refinance a mortgage.

7) Start Saving Money

Divorce can be costly, and your financial situation may worsen significantly after the marriage ends. Therefore, you should start saving money before telling your spouse you want a divorce. Since you may face unexpected expenses, it would be better if you have at least some savings.

8) Protect Your Privacy

When planning a divorce and making divorce preparations, take care of your privacy and security. Change e-mail or bank account passwords that your spouse may know, keep your documents and money separate, and do not discuss your divorce decisions with outsiders.

9) Decide Where to Live after Divorce

If you and your spouse are still living together, you will most likely need to move to another home after your divorce is finalized. You should think in advance about where you will reside; you can ask to live with relatives or friends or rent an apartment or a house. If you plan a lease, find out what the cost of housing is and prepare enough savings.

10) Talk with Your Kids

Divorce can be a difficult phase in your children’s lives. To prepare kids for the changes in the future, you should talk to them about the divorce before the process begins. Having an amicable divorce in which parents don’t argue over child custody and visitation issues may be a less stressful option for kids. If you cannot avoid conflict with the other party, try not to dispute in front of the children so as not to harm their mental health.

Preparation for divorce is an important stage to go through if you decide to end the marriage. Following the checklist will help you during the process and prepare you for divorce both physically and mentally.