Divorce Petition Checklist


Here are questions you’re going to need to answer at some point in your divorce. You might as well get started thinking about them now. You’re lawyer may have more, but these will get you off to a good start.

About the kids:

  • Who will be the custodial or residential parent?
  • What rights will the other parent have in terms of being with the children?
  • Who will pay transportation expenses incurred if the kids must travel?
  • Will there be any restriction on where the custodial or residential parent may move with the children?
  • How will major decisions affecting the children's health, welfare, and education be made?

About your home:

  • Will your home be sold? Will one of the parties deed his or her interest to the other?
  • Will one of the parties have the right to continue to live in the home, and if so, for how long?
  • Will he or she have the right to rent any portion of the home or to allow any other person to live there?
    (If rent will be received, who will have the right to keep it?)
  • Will that right be affected by remarriage or living in a common-law relationship?
  • If the home is to be sold either now or in the future, how will the proceeds be split?
  • If the parties cannot agree on the provisions of the sale (i.e., the selling price, private sale or multiple listing), how will this be determined?
  • Who will be responsible for the ordinary maintenance and carrying charges on the home until it is sold?
  • Who will be responsible for major repairs and the costs of preparing the home for sale?
  • If and when the home is to be sold, will either party have a first option to buy it?
  • Who will be responsible for any taxes, if applicable?

If you rent your home:

  • Who will have the right to continue to live in the home?
  • Who must pay the rent and other carrying charges in the future?
  • How will security deposits be split?
  • Will the departing spouse be obliged to help the remaining spouse in renewing the lease if the landlord will not renew it without his or her signature?

About what you owe:

  • What personal debts (not including business loans and the home mortgage) do parties have?
  • Who will be responsible to pay each of these debts?

About what you own:

  • How will the furniture, household furnishings, and other items of personal property in the marital residence be split?
  • How will money in savings or checking accounts in either the joint or individual names of the parties be split?
  • How will investments such as stocks, bonds, or other securities in either the joint or individual names of the parties be split?
  • How will items such as cars, boats, motorcycles or other items of personal property in either the joint or individual names of the parties be split?
  • To what extent will the parties have the right to share in any pension or retirement benefits to which the other is or may be entitled?
  • To what extent will one party have the right to a share in the value of any business, professional practice, royalties or other personal property owned by the other party?

About support:

  • Will either party be required to financially support the other? If so, how much and for how long?
  • Will either party be required to pay support to the other spouse for the children? If so, how much and for how long?
  • If there is more than one child, by how much will the child support payments be reduced when the obligation for the support of one or more of the children ends?
  • Will the support payments change in the future to reflect changes in financial circumstances of either of the parties, economic conditions or other factors?
  • Who will be entitled to claim the children as exemptions for income tax purposes?
  • Will either or both parties be obligated to pay for the post-secondary education? If so, which expenses, and to what extent?
  • If those expenses are financed, who will be responsible for repayment?
  • Will there be any reduction in support payments while children are attending a post-secondary institution?

About insurance:

  • Will either party be obligated to maintain life insurance
    - for the benefit of the other, and if so, in what amount and how long?
    - for the benefit of the children, and if so, in what amount and how long? Who will be the beneficiary of such insurance?
  • Will the obligation to maintain life insurance decrease (as to amount) in the future, and if so, when and in what amount?
  • Will either party be obligated to provide medical or other insurance
    - for the benefit of the other? For how long?
    - for the benefit of the children? For how long?
  • Who will be responsible to pay for the children’s medical, dental, drug or hospital expenses that are not reimbursed by any insurance which either of the parties may have?





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