When arranging major events, many people find that the tried and trusted way of drawing up a checklist is the only way to ensure nothing is left unaddressed. So, why not use the same method to cope with the many aspects of divorce? A divorcing spouse in Texas will typically have to rearrange his or her own life, help children adjust to new family dynamics, manage limited finances and cope with navigating the legal processes. A checklist could be very helpful.
Suggested checklist items include pulling a credit report and addressing any unpaid debts. Also, gathering and making copies of financial information may be easier to accomplish prior to the divorce filing. Some checklist notes will refer to tasks to remember after the divorce, such as drafting a new will and modifying beneficiaries on retirement and investment accounts, as well as insurance policies. If the court orders your spouse to transfer retirement funds to you, you may need a reminder to submit a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to ensure the funds are transferred.
Adding a list of irreplaceable personal items on the checklist may remind you to secure those things before the turmoil of the divorce. Parenting and visitation issues may need a whole separate checklist. A parenting time schedule can be marked out on a yearly calendar, and a list of issues to negotiate, such as babysitting issues, access to information about the children and more, can be listed as they come to mind. You may also want to remind yourself to take advantage of your spouse's medical insurance by addressing you and your children's health and dental issues before the divorce is finalized.
Cyber privacy also deserves a place on your checklist. Creating a new email account and changing all Internet passwords can prevent your ex-spouse from accessing your accounts and reading personal mail. A checklist can also ensure nothing slips through the cracks if you and your spouse opt for divorce mediation. Consulting with an experienced Texas divorce attorney can further assist you in avoiding mistakes that can be costly and painful and that can jeopardize future stability.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "How a Simple Divorce Checklist Can Keep You From Making These 10 Common Mistakes", Karen Covy, Oct.12, 2015