Are you looking for a divorce checklist? We put together this divorce checklist to help you. There is a lot to think about, and seeking out information is key. Also, check out the links in this article.
Change Your Passwords
One of the first things you need to do is to change your passwords. When you are separating, you need to protect your privacy.
You don’t’ want your partner to be able to download your emails. This might be with your friends, family, or even your lawyer.
If your partner is reading the emails with your lawyer, it will likely damage our case. What happens if you tell your lawyer that you want to threaten litigation, but you don’t actually want to do it? Your partner will now be able to call your bluff.
Also, if you move to a friend’s house to keep your children safe, your partner will know where you are. This will defeat the purpose of moving away in the first place.
They will also be able to find additional evidence against you. However, if you don’t have their password, you won’t be able to get additional evidence on them.
See our article about hacking your spouse.
Visit The Bank
You will need to freeze your credit cards, mortgage credit, and any other credit you have. You don’t want the other party to be able to take out a home equity loan. Let’s say you have $1M in equity in your homes. The bank will likely loan your spouse $800,000. Keep in mind that you will be likely responsible for half of that debt. So your partner just got $400,000 from you.
This will likely be done for two reasons.
- To get revenge on you
- Because they need money to buy their own property
You don’t want your spouse to take out any money until you get a signed separation agreement. Also, this signed agreement must be done properly. It needs to be created by your lawyer. Further, your spouse needs to have got independent legal advice.
Once your spouse has the $800,000 (or whatever large amount,) it’s very hard for you to get it back. The police nor the bank will want to get involved with a family law dispute. You will then need to hire a lawyer to fight for it in court.
You might have to pay the lawyer $20,000 to get your $400,000 back. Of course, that would be well worth the money spent.
Sometimes someone is worried their partner is going to do the same thing. So they want to do it first. If you have ever been through a breakdown of a relationship (friend, romantic partner, at work) you have probably seen that things can get ugly fast.
Gather Information Before Starting The Separation
Make sure you have lots of information so you can give it to the lawyer. You want to go back for about four years.
These documents will be helpful for calculating child support, spousal support, and the division of assets.
It is very expensive for you to have to get court orders for information from your partner.
Below are some things that you will want to have:
- Marriage certificate
- The title to your properties and assets
- Bank statements
- Mortgage statements
- Tax returns
- Credit card statements
- Take copies of every passport (or have the passports yourself)
- Company documents
- Accountant statements
- Calculations about finances or retirement
Canadian Divorce Checklist
If you cannot get this information, your lawyer can fight for a court order. Of course, your spouse might lie even with the court order. Therefore, it’s likely going to take a bunch of work to get to the truth.
The person who doesn’t want to pay much child or spousal support will want to show their income is as low as possible. However, if you have information about their tax returns and company profits, this will help you.
It will also show to the courts that your spouse is a liar. This might help other parts of your case.
You can also take a photocopy of everything. This is as opposed to taking the actual documents.
When you are working on your divorce checklist, you are trying to figure out assets and property. This is not only real estate. You want to calculate many things.
You can contact a real estate agent to calculate the value of the family home and investment houses.
- The family home
- Investment properties
- Cars (person or company)
- Bank accounts
- Company trademarks
- Furniture (if it’s worth over a certain amount)
- Anything else of value
You can go to a car trader to get a quote on the car. There are also websites where you can see the rough value of your vehicles.
You can’t really say that the children’s bank accounts are their money. The child did not earn the money.
It’s hard for people to determine the value of a company. Therefore, often an accountant can go through the company and put a valuation on it.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law