Going through a legal separation can be overwhelming and stressful, but a checklist can help ensure you take care of important issues. With a little planning, you and your ex-partner can manage a difficult situation in the best way possible for you and your family members.
Common Elements of the Checklist
A separation checklist helps you put everything in order, so there's less chance of overlooking something important. To download the free checklist, click on the image and use the print or download icon. If you have any issues, see the guide for working with Adobe printables.
Once you've downloaded and printed the checklist, you can check off each section to ensure you have everything covered. It's an easy way to remember important things or as a detailed guide for helping to stay on track with your life as you navigate dissolving your marriage.
Separation Planning Checklist
Typically, this type of checklist addresses decision-making about how both parties continue to function within the family. It contains items in every part of your life that will be affected by the separation. The list is separated into the following sections:
- Information to Gather: This is the information you will need to have with you in case you need it in the future. For many people, it's easier to keep a journal with the information in this section, along with important notes such as the date of separation.
- Discuss the Following: It isn't possible for all couples, but there are many topics you should discuss, including child custody and division of property and assets. If you can plan and have a conversation about situations such as how you will file taxes for the last year you were together, the separation will go much smoother. Plus, it'll be helpful if you divorce after the separation later.
- Get Copies of Important Documents: If you can, you should make sure you have either copies or originals of the documents in this section as you will likely need the information after you have separated. It's much more difficult calling the insurance company about your car after you've separated if you don't happen to have any of the information with you.
Other Separation Checklists
Although you can adapt the checklist to fit your needs, there are also lists online that you can use to include other items and information. The resources below can point you in the right direction and perhaps help you find a checklist that works for your family.
- Find Law Separation Checklist: Provides checklist advice for financial and custodial issues.
- Fairfield Center Separation Checklist: The Fairfield Center provides a checklist that is often used to prepare for mediation but you can also use it if you're just planning to separate or divorce.
- Divorce and Separation Checklist: This site is in Australia, but is a comprehensive list for preparing for separation or divorce.
Separating from your spouse is difficult and confusing, but a checklist can help you and your partner organized through the process. The less time you spend trying to organize your altered living arrangements, the more time you'll have either to repair your broken relationship or move forward in the best way possible. If you need legal assistance with your separation, make sure you contact a family law attorney in your area.