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Divorce Planning Checklist: How to Prepare for Divorce



Divorce is a difficult time, and there's no way around it. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to be prepared for the process. That means starting with a plan for everything on what will likely be your last day as a couple together. Here are some of the most important steps in preparing yourself before filing for divorce:

  1. Hire an Attorney

You should not try to handle your divorce on your own. You need a Chicago divorce lawyer who specializes in family law and can help you get through all the legal issues involved with ending your marriage. The best person for this job is usually a family law solicitor, although some lawyers may specialize in other areas of the law that overlap with family law such as property division, child custody, and support.

If you hire an attorney from out-of-state or from another country, make sure they are familiar with the laws of your state before hiring them. If possible, find out which court handles divorce cases in your area (usually county court) so that there is no confusion about where documents need to be filed.

Ask about fees upfront so there are no surprises later on when it comes time for payment due dates or invoices sent by mail after work has been done on your case - make sure both parties agree upon when billing will stop taking place before having any type of interaction with them this way. Also, find out how long they've been practicing law because experience counts.

  1. Get a Counseling Support

It is important to seek help from a professional when you are going through a divorce. It can be hard to deal with the stress of the situation, but by seeking the counseling you can get guidance on how to cope with your feelings and make the best decisions for your future.

There are many types of counselors available, including couples counseling; family counseling; financial counseling; lawyers who specialize in divorce cases; psychologists or psychiatrists who specialize in mental health issues; spiritual advisors (e.g., clergy members). Explore various options until you find someone that feels right for you and your situation.

Counseling sessions can be free or low-cost, depending on where they take place:

  • In person at a mental health center near where you live (or online via video chat)

  • Through your local county office if they offer this service

  1. Find a Real Estate Agent Specializing in a Divorce Sale

Find a real estate agent specializing in divorce sales. An experienced real estate agent like Award Winning Agent will be able to guide you through the process of selling your home faster than a less experienced agent. Additionally, the more familiar an agent is with local market conditions and laws, the better he or she will be able to advise you on how best to proceed with your sale.

Do some research before choosing an agent. Ask friends and family whether they've had any experience working with real estate agents before, including how they worked out (or didn't). The internet provides resources such as Yelp reviews and online forums where people can share their experiences with specific agencies or agents, so take advantage of them when possible.

  1. Make Copies of Important Documents

It is important to make copies of all your important documents and keep them in a secure place. This will ensure that you have access to them when needed, and it can also help protect yourself against identity theft or fraud. You should also have a record of everything: bank statements, credit card statements, car titles, and registrations.

  1. Make a Financial Plan

Create a budget for yourself. List all of your expenses, including how much you spend on each item and how often you buy it. List all of your income, including wages from work and other sources such as alimony or child support. And evaluate both the list of expenses and income to determine whether you can afford to live on your own after the divorce. If not, consider selling assets or taking on additional jobs in order to make ends meet while still saving money for a rainy day. Create a plan for the future in particular, one that focuses on long-term financial health rather than short-term gains (such as spending more than necessary during this difficult time).

  1. Check Your Credit

Check your credit. If you haven't done so recently, check your credit score and make sure it's in the 700+ range. Also, make sure all of your accounts are paid off (no balances) and that there's no evidence of fraud or identity theft.

Set up a budget. This will help you determine how much money is coming in and going out each month, which will be helpful in deciding what to do with assets like real estate and retirement funds post-divorce.

Check insurance policies. Make sure that all household policies are up-to-date and that they reflect both parties' names as well as any children who live with either party or live elsewhere but visit frequently enough to warrant coverage under those policies (for example health insurance).

  1. Secure Your Social Media Accounts

It is important to secure your social media accounts. This can be done by changing privacy settings, and deleting and/or deactivating accounts completely. If you are unsure how to do this, try doing a Google search for “how to change my privacy settings on a social media platform. Also, it may be wise to consider blocking people who might post negative comments about you or publish information that could hurt your case in court.

  1. Have a List of Assets and Debts

List of assets and debts. Use a spreadsheet or word document to list all assets, including retirement accounts, real estate, business interests, and bank accounts. Include the value of each asset in your list. If you have joint accounts with your spouse (and/or third parties), include those as well. Include all debts, even those that are not in your name (such as student loans). This will help you determine how much credit card debt is being carried by each party after the divorce is final. In addition to listing the size of each debt (in dollars), also include its interest rate so that you can make informed decisions about paying down existing debt prior to the separation date or negotiating terms related to alimony or child support payments going forward.


Hope that this checklist helps you to prepare for your divorce. It’s important to get everything in order as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the less stress and anxiety you will have later on. Remember, it’s always a good idea to keep records of all financial transactions and receipts because they might be needed during legal proceedings so take care of the details now.

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