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Getting divorced? What you should do before the divorce

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

There are many financial decisions to consider before and during a divorce. Use this checklist to help navigate your transition.

  • Schedule a meeting with a divorce attorney; be prepared to discuss your financial situation, the disposition of marital assets, alimony, and child support.

  • Take inventory of all shared and individually owned assets, such as bank/brokerage/retirement accounts, insurance policies, property documents, and tax returns from the last five years.

-- Birth certificates, Social Security cards, and passports.

-- Bank, brokerage, and retirement account statements.

-- Life, health, auto, homeowner’s, and renter’s insurance policies.

-- Tax returns from the past five years.

-- Mortgage or home equity loan documents.

-- A list of outstanding bills or obligations.

-- Real property deeds and motor vehicle titles.

-- An inventory of household goods, personal belongings, and safe deposit boxes.

  • Create an individual budget to see where you stand financially.

  • If you are changing your name, take the necessary steps to make it official. Be sure to notify your employer, government agencies, personal accounts, and creditors.

  • Review and update files for all personal accounts and property, including your estate plan, property titles, insurance policies, and beneficiaries of IRAs/401(k)s/life insurance policies.

  • Request copies of your credit report and check them for accuracy.

  • Meet with a tax professional to discuss your income tax-filing options and update your W-4 form as needed.

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