Moving Checklist for Divorce

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.16.55 PMMoving checklist for divorce.  With the start of the New Year, unfortunately I have been called to help some folks navigate a move because of a divorce.  It is definitely not the start these beautiful people anticipated, but it is what it is.  Therefore, I thought this post was rather timely.

Moving and divorce. Two of life’s most stressful experiences combined to wreak havoc on your life.  I know, because this turmoil is fresh in my memory.  Based on my experience, I have put together a checklist to help those in the midst of this hell, navigate.  Keep in mind that above all, it is pivotal to follow your court orders and advice from counsel.  This is just a reference guide to help you navigate your current situation.

Medical
Depending on what you have agreed with your soon-to-be ex, keep in mind that you will want to have your own health records.
Prescriptions
Health insurance coverage
Health records
Therapist records

Clothing
You may want to take the opportunity to downsize. Consigning and donating work well. Go through your closets and audit them while packing.

Jewelry
Again, refer to your court orders. Keep in mind that whatever jewelry you have that is insured under a rider on your homeowner’s insurance will have to be evaluated. If you are selling the marital home, you will need to investigate other insurance options.

Valuables
Depending on what your court orders specify, you may need to have your things valued in order to divide them properly. If that is the case, an agreed representative will come and assess your belongings, like art, jewelry, dishes, appliances and furnishings. This will help assess a value to them so that your marital assets can be divided accordingly.

Personal
In the flurry of activity, it is easy to overlook the little things. Keep these in mind:
Dry cleaning
Prescription pick-up
Safety deposit boxes
Returns/Gifts/Gift cards
P.O. Boxes
Passports
Birth Certificates
Social Security Cards
Wills
Life Insurance
Photos/Memorabilia
These areScreen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.17.10 PM very personal and pose the most difficulty. Depending on the relationship with your soon-to-be ex, you may want to schedule time to go through them. If the situation is not as amicable as it could be, you may need to just schedule time on your own to go through what is important to you. You may want to agree to make copies of certain things to keep the peace. Sentimental things are the most difficult to handle. Items like Christmas ornaments, baby books, kid’s art work will be surprisingly challenging to get through.

Children’s things
Again, you will need to refer to your court orders and custody arrangement. Here are some tips to handle the children’s things. As always, the priority should be the comfort of the child.

  • Health records and insurance cards should be copied for both parents.Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.17.51 PM
  • School records and contact information should be updated with the school.
  • Birth certificates and social security cards should be copied and with both parents.
  • It should be agreed among the parents on who should be the custodian of the passports.
  • Prescriptions will need to be accessed by both parents

If it is possible, have a family meeting with the children. This will help them feel apart of the process. Ask them what things they want at each parent’s home. Remember as much as it is difficult for you, it will be difficult for them. Therefore, the more open you are to communicate, the better it will be for the entire family.

Utilities
Depending on whether the marital home is sold or if a spouse will remain in it with the kids, utilities will have to be addressed. Depending on your court orders, you will have to either terminate or transfer services. Make sure to follow these carefully.

Pet
If you have a pet, you will have to follow the court orders. If there is a custody arrangement, make sure that your ex has copies and access to the following:
Vet records
Shot records
Pet sitter/Vet contact information
Pet insurance information if applicable
Pet day care

Financials
Again, it is pivotal to follow your court orders. However, here are some tips to keep in mind:
These assets will be addressed and the court orders followed:
Bank accounts/statements
Retirement accounts/statements
Credit card accounts/statements
Taxes
Stocks/Bonds/Annuities
Trusts
If you can scan these records electronically, it will help to provide copies to both parties for future reference.

Be mindful that you will be held responsible for your actions.  Divorce is a very traumatic experience and thoughts that you did not think you were capable of having will cross your mind.  Hurt, anger, frustration and a flood of other emotions will fill you and you will need to have someone to keep you on track.  If you have any doubt, clarify them with legal counsel before taking action.

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