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Your Back to School - Divorce Checklist!


Your Back to School - Divorce Checklist!

The summer is coming to a close :( It’s back to school! You have been busy shopping for clothes and school supplies. You’ve been busy preparing the children to go back to school, and for some of you they are already back in school. This is the time of year when once the children are focused and back into their school routines many couples start focusing on themselves and their thoughts of divorce.

Often, at the end of summer, couples start revisiting the issues in their marriages and start taking the necessary steps to prepare for their divorce. I have seen a number of clients over the last few months who have shared with me getting the children back to school, and into a routine, is a priority. But once the school year starts, it’s time to focus on dissolving their marriage. This is an emotionally challenging time. As you move through this difficult period and you embark on your divorce I find it helpful to have a Divorce Check-List. This list helps clients organize their thoughts and to carefully consider some important pieces of this complex puzzle.

The Divorce Checklist has been very helpful to many of my clients, I hope it will be helpful to you too! :)


There is more than one way to get divorced. Yes, most couples think about the more traditional approach-Litigation-go to court-and fight! If you haven’t been divorced before you may think this is the only way to divorce. For some this may be true. But for others, a divorce can take place in a safe, supportive, collaborative environment with less anger and chaos. It’s important to explore what is available to you. When you start researching lawyers, take a look at mediators too. Many people do not know much about the process and benefits of mediation. Educate yourself about both options and don’t rule anything out.


Consider where you, your partner and your children are going to live. I always recommend that this be thought through carefully. I never recommend anyone just leaving the home before they have consulted with a divorce attorney/mediator. Consider creating a budget to see how you will financially be able to afford two dwellings. If there are children, consider the importance of keeping their routine and home life as comfortable as possible. The creative problem solving of mediation could help here.


Take a look at your monthly expenses. Include everything. Rent, mortgage payments, food, utilities, clothing, etc. Be as detailed as possible! A lot of times couples don’t even really know what their monthly expenses look like. This will be a real eye opener. It’s also an important tool for properly planning for divorce.


Start putting together all the necessary documents, tax returns (at least the last 3-5 years) banking, checking account and credit statements. Organize your stocks, investments, pensions, 401 (k)’s, life insurance, and prenuptial or postnuptial agreement (if you have one). If you haven’t kept statements etc. contact the various financial institutions to request them.


The best way to help your children deal with your divorce is for you to prepare them. Talk to them about what is going on. You don’t have to share all the dirty details, just the basics. Reassure them that you both love them! It is much less disturbing to children when they know what is going on and what to expect. What and how you tell them is very important too! Sometimes I suggest the aid of a psychological professional so you have the right guidance and tools. I always remind my clients that it’s important during this process to do what is in the best interest of their children.

If you are thinking of Separation or Divorce, consider a divorce attorney/mediator to educate yourself and help you start the process. With over 35 years’ experience I have found that taking your time and exploring all your options is best. For some of you going to court and litigating will be inevitable, for others the mediation process may just be the right fit. The divorce path taken is often determined by the personalities of the parties.

I would be happy to share with you all I know about both paths. I will give you all the information necessary so that you can choose the best process for you and your family.

If you would like to receive a free sample Statement of Net Worth to help you start organizing a budget and your assets email me at and we will send you one.

For those of you ready to get started call today for a free in-office consultation. This offer is good through the month of September - I hope to hear from you. 212.734.1551.