52 Ideas for Preparing You and Your Finances for Divorce

  1. Choose a new bank and open a personal bank account.

  2. Obtain a copy of your credit report.

  3. Obtain a copy of your spouse’s credit report.

  4. Pay off all credit accounts: Credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc.

  5. Close joint bank accounts, split all money evenly.

  6. Move sentimental personal property to a safe location.

  7. Move valuables to a safe location for even distribution later.

  8. Have valuables appraised.

  9. Avoid new debt until after the divorce.

  10. Obtain passwords to financial institutions.

  11. Get a Post Office box.

  12. Declare your assets upfront.  Concealing assets can disfavor you with a judge, violate the law, and cost you money in sanctions. 

  13. Take pictures of the personal property in the home.

  14. Get job training or education before you file for divorce.

  15. Carefully consider asking for alimony.  It is taxable income for you.  Terms of alimony can be changed after divorce due to remarriage or change of income.

  16. Obtain current retirement account information.

  17. Follow the recommended financial worksheets and do not be generous in settlements.

  18. Prepare your house for sale.  

  19. Get an appraisal of the home.

  20. Gather your tax returns for the past three years.

  21. Make copies of your investment accounts.

  22. Establish credit in your own name.

  23. Do not place inheritance money in joint accounts.

  24. Update your resume.

  25. Plan to go to mediation. Courts require it before trials, and it can save money.

  26. Use OCAP to prepare your documents pro se.

  27. Investigate getting on a pro se calendar.

  28. Any real estate you owned before marriage is yours alone.

  29. Change the beneficiary on your life insurance and annuity contracts.

  30. Plan for healthcare.

  31. Keep a good paper trail for receipts and housing.

  32. Select an attorney that listens to your positions and is a good fit for you.

  33. Don’t fight for things you don’t even want.

  34. Expect to pay more on your individual tax return after divorce.

  35. Be prepared for holidays to be more complicated.

  36. Plan for added expenses for cell phone service and insurance as a single person.

  37. Get support.  Reconnect with friends and family.  Join a group or volunteer.

  38. Stay safe on social media.

  39. Consider therapy during the transition.  Divorce is traumatic and stressful.

  40. Communicate honestly with your spouse.  Build trust and preserve dignity.

  41. Slow down if the divorce process is overwhelming. 

  42. Remember, if you mediate or stipulate, you can customize your divorce.

  43. Avoid fights with your spouse about the past.

  44. Renew healthy habits.

  45. Journal.

  46. Find productive ways to soothe yourself during stressful times.

  47. Prepare for a change in lifestyle, as living alone costs more.

  48. Expect to grieve.  You had hopes and dreams about marriage.  

  49. Work to forgive yourself and your spouse.  As a relationship falls apart, we behave badly from pain and are not our best selves.

  50. Don’t expect your spouse to change.  The behavior you disliked during marriage will continue through the divorce process.  

  51. Channel your energy toward building a positive future.

  52. It is better to have loved and lost than to live with a psycho the rest of your life.

 

For more about property division, see Utah Code Title 30, Chapter 2, Section 30-3-5.

Or call (801) 231-0286!