Divorce is notorious for being hard. Whether you're in a "good" divorce or a "bad" divorce, there are few life events that will put you to the test like ending your marriage. When people are in the flurry of moving, protecting their assets and their children, and dealing with unimaginable stress, it's easy to make mistakes or miss things. But sometimes, they miss BIG things that lead to costly or unnerving consequences.
To avoid this from happening to you, take a few minutes to write down this divorce checklist and follow it closely. Trust us, you'll be glad that you did.
1. Forgetting about or missing a debt.
It happens – a couple files for divorce and then months or years later one of the spouses remembers or finds out about a credit card bill in their name that wasn't included in the divorce.
Add to your divorce checklist: pull my credit report at the beginning and end of my divorce.
2. Your spouse reads your personal mail.
While this may have been okay during the marriage, it's NOT okay now that you're getting a divorce, and believe us, curious spouses have a tendency to snoop through their husband or wife's personal mail, especially when it involves a letter that they're not supposed to read, for example, a letter from your attorney.
Add to your divorce checklist: get a P.O. Box ASAP and have my mail redirected to it.
3. Your spouse (their attorney or friends) cyber-spy on you.
It happens…a lot. In fact, a large percentage of divorce attorneys use online evidence from social media accounts and Facebook against a spouse. There's a good chance that your spouse has your passwords to your email, social media and other online accounts and if they don't, they may know how to find them.
Add to your divorce checklist: change all of my passwords right away and open a new email account.
4. You don't get the financial documents when they're accessible.
Before you begin your divorce, you should be able to gather your financial documentation rather easily from your home office or file cabinet in your family room. But, once you start the process, it's amazing how some of those important papers can magically disappear.
Add to your divorce checklist: create a divorce document checklist and make copies of all of the financial documents before the divorce process begins.
5. Not utilizing health insurance benefits while you still can.
If you are currently insured under your spouse's health insurance and you have health issues that need to be addressed, it's wise to take care of them before the divorce is finalized.
Add to your divorce checklist: make sure I handle my medical issues before I am divorced and don't forget to explore my health insurance options before the divorce is final.
In closing, we'd like to add one more thing. Be sure to secure irreplaceable personal items, such as family photos, heirlooms and jewelry before they go missing. If you wait months or years to collect these items, they might not be there.
To prevent this from happening, gather your irreplaceable items and put them someplace safe – outside your home!