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Tips to save you time and money

With your attorney....

  • Be honest with your attorney and don't try to hide information OR assets.
  • Follow your attorney's advice
  • Keep open communication with your attorney
  • Never be embarrassed to ask your attorney to explain something.

If children are involved, keep a journal documenting any time the kids go back and forth between you and the other parent and any other relevant information.


  • Don't empty the house when you move out
  • Don't close the bank accounts or cancel the credit cards
  • Don't cut off the utilities
  • Don't move out of state with the kids
  • Don't try to get your ex fired 
  • Don't call CPS or the police on your ex unless it is a valid complaint


  • Make a list of all your major assets and when & from what source you received them, include account numbers and specific descriptions and values
  • Make a list of all debts, balance owed, primary debtor and account numbers
  • Write down VIN on all vehicles and find a copy of your deeds if possible
  • Obtain pension/401k account and contact info
  • Open a separate bank account and possibly a safe deposit box
  • Separate your mailing address; Open a PO Box if you are still living together
  • Request a personal benefits and earnings statement for both you and your spouse from the Social Security Administration
  • Determine what you and your spouse wish to do with your marital residence
  • Make a plan for paying off joint debts
  • Make a plan for closing and separating joint financial accounts
  • Close all joint credit cards and open new ones in your sole name; remove spouse as authorized user on accounts
  • Obtain a copy of the last 2 years' tax returns
  • Review and update your monthly budget
  • Gather copies of all financial documents
  • Locate important documents such as birth certificates, marriage license, education records, passports, etc.


Things you cannot do, without a written agreement or court order:

  •     Buy any major purchase - no real estate, big electronics, cars, etc.
  •     Take out any new loans or credit cards
  •     Sell anything major or of sentimental value to your spouse
  •     Drop your spouse from insurance
  •     Take withdrawals from your retirement fund, other than a regular monthly payment that you were getting before filing for divorce
  •     Close out bank accounts or move money from one account to another

What you can do:

  •     Pay your regular bills (utilities, mortgage, credit cards at minimum monthly pymt)
  •     Pay your living expenses (groceries, gasoline, clothes, etc.)
  •     Pay your attorney
  •     Conduct your ordinary business
  •     Obtain and review your credit report