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Divorce checklist

Embarking on divorce is, no two ways about it, daunting. Divorce raises a host of emotional and practical issues. This checklist will help you consider and begin to address each part of the process and its implications for you, your children, and your finances

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jul 15, 2021

divorce checklist

Here's our divorce checklist, with all the things you'll need to consider:

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Your children

  • Who will your children live with?
  • What arrangements will there be for the other parent to see them?
  • How will you arrange Christmas, birthdays, holidays and other special occasions?
  • How will the children's lives be financed?
  • If there are school fees, how will these be paid?
  • How will the grandparents of the non-resident parent see the children?

Your finances

  • Will you keep, or sell, your family home?
  • Who will live in your family home, if you are keeping it?
  • Where will the non-resident partner live?
  • How will you afford your new living arrangements?
  • How will you divide up your investments and savings?
  • How will you divide up your personal property?
  • Who will have your family car?
  • How will you meet the fees for the divorce?
  • How will you pay your mortgage from now on?
  • What will happen to your credit card debts?

Things you need to do if you're getting divorced

  • Find out as much as you can about your personal financial situation – ie how much capital you have, and how many debts; also, the value of any investments and savings.
  • Notify the relevant organisations of the change in your marital arrangements – for example the benefits office, your council, mortgage lender, utility companies, tax office, bank, building society, credit card provider, house insurer, life insurer, student loan company, pension provider, GP, dentist, optician, school, nursery etc.
  • Think about whether you need to make or change your will.

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Mumsnet wisdom

  • “You need to do a budget and think of everything, including unforeseen, one-off expenses -holidays, medicine, new paint or furniture, anything that might not normally crop up when you're trying to work out what you normally spend money on.”
  • “The courts are not interested in apportioning blame (especially in the case of something as commonplace as infidelity), and they ignore fault in the separation of the assets. Generally, in England and Wales, the assumption is a 50/50 split of all assets, except where children are involved; in the latter case it will depend on who has primary residency.”

If you are going through a divorce and want to speak to other people in similar situations please visit our divorce and separation forum. Share your experiences and get information and support from people in the same boat.