If you follow this checklist, you’ll be able to become an active and willing co-parent, handle your money, and take the necessary legal steps, leaving you free to focus on establishing a happy future apart from each other as you move into the next phase of your lives.
Choose a good parenting strategy.
- Choose a location for the children to live. Many parents split custody 50/50, but each family is unique.
- Make a schedule for when and how they will see you. Don’t forget to discuss significant occasions: make plans for Christmas, birthdays, and other celebrations.
- Decide who will pay for what and how the children’s lives will be supported financially (including school fees, sports, etc.).
- Determine when and how other family members will be able to see the kids.
- Review the rules for parenting them and make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
- Make a financial plan.
- Decide whether you want to sell or keep the family home.
- If the family house is to be kept, decide who will live there and who will relocate.
- Determine how you will pay for the residences in order to buy out the equity of the other party.
- If you and your spouse are both listed on the mortgage, you’ll need to refinance or sell the house to free up the other spouse’s credit score from the house debt.
- Agree on how to divide your personal property, from the car to the coffee maker. If you can’t decide, buy a set of pink and blue stickers, flip a coin to see who gets first pick, and then stroll about the house together, placing pink and then blue stickers on various items to determine who gets what.
- Determine your assets, investments, and savings, as well as how you will share them. If necessary, enlist the assistance of a financial planner or other professionals.
- Determine what debts you have (overdrafts, credit card payments, etc.) and how you will divide them.
- Make a strategy to pay for any divorce fees that may arise. There are court filing fees of roughly $611 that must be paid, and the rates charged by lawyers might vary substantially.
- Organize and file the legal documents.
- Submit your divorce petition for the first time.
- Within X days, the other party must file a written response and pay the responding filing fee.
- If you want to make sure the agreements above are legally binding after the cooling off period passes, mutually submit a Consent Order. If you have minor children in common, you must also include a Joint Parenting Plan.
- Decide whether you want to make or change your wills.
- Consider who you’ll need to inform about your divorce.
Notify all required organizations that your marital status has changed or will change. This is especially true when it comes to beneficiary information on your life or disability insurance policy. As an additional example:
- corporations that provide utilities
- tax offices
- credit card companies
- house insurance company
- Benefits/Welfare office
- firm that provides life insurance
- corporations that provide student loans
- the mortgage company
- pension fund managers
- your dental professional
- your ophthalmologist
- any educational institutions (schools, colleges, universities, etc.)
This divorce checklist is provided in the hopes that it may be useful to you.
How to File for Amicable Divorce?
- Select the appropriate court.
- Download and print the uncontested divorce petition papers
- Complete the petition
- Make 3 copies, sign, and date all copies in front of a notary
- File one copy with the appropriate court
- Serve one copy to your spouse through intermediary such as professional process server or county constable, pay filing, fee and wait 30-90 days
- Prepare divorce settlement agreement
- Prepare divorce decree, sign it and have your spouse sign it in front of a notary
- File proposed order and divorce settlement agreement with the county clerk after statutory waiting period expires
Or, you can hire a Divorce Mediator to do all the leg work for you. Check out our Amicable Divorce Checklist.
How to Divorce Amicably
- Step 1: Decide to divorce without blame
- Step 2: Focus on what’s important
- Step 3: Don’t hide anything whether assets or liabilities
- Step 4: Place the needs of your children first, your own needs second
- Step 5: Work through the divorce with mutual respect, without involving attorneys and out of court, or even with attorneys, but keeping things level headed and out of court.
Learn more about How to Divorce Amicably
How to Have an Amicable Divorce with Children
If you have children, you can still file for amicable divorce. The amicable divorce process with children is only a little more complex. Children add issues to divorce in terms of child support, custody terms, and parenting responsibility. Having children that are minors may impact the way the cars, family home, and other assets become divided. This can create opportunities for parties to disagree or for spouses to be too far apart on issues to reach an agreement. A divorce mediator or collaborative divorce attorney can provide objective insight into possible solutions that would work best for children and spouses.
Parental issues involving minor children and divorce include:
- Child Custody: Which spouse will have physical custody of the child(ren)?
- Living Arrangements: What location will the child(ren) live?
- Visitation Rights: How often will a non-custodial parent be able to see their child(ren)?
- Child Support: How much will a non-custodial parent have to pay to the primary caregiver?
Amicable Divorce Advantages
The biggest advantages of amicable divorce are fast speed and low cost. Since both parties agree to the divorce, the process happens more quickly and cost less since you need fewer services from a lawyer.
- Fast Divorce
- Low Cost Divorce
- Easier on Children
- Better Relationship with Spouse After Divorce
- Faster resolution, means your single again sooner and on with your new life.
How Much Does Amicable Divorce Cost?
On average amicable divorce costs about $7,500 per spouse. Costs ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 per spouse for the US in 2019. This estimate includes hiring a divorce mediator or collaborative divorce attorney. Most attorneys charge anywhere from $300 to $700 an hour for their time.
How to Proceed with an Amicable Divorce?
Choose the proper court.
Download and print the papers for an uncontested divorce.
Fill out the petition.
Make three copies, sign and date each one in the presence of a notary.
One copy should be filed with the appropriate court.
Serve one copy of the complaint on your spouse via an intermediary such as a professional process server or county constable, pay the filing fee, and wait. Between 30 and 90 days
Prepare a settlement agreement for divorce
Prepare the divorce decree, sign it, and have your spouse sign it before a notary public.
After the statutory waiting period expires, file the proposed order and divorce settlement agreement with the county clerk.
Alternatively, you can hire a Divorce Mediator to handle everything for you. Consult our Checklist for an Amicable Divorce.
How to Divorce Amicably Step 1: Decide to divorce without assigning blame Step 2: Concentrate on what matters Step 3: Do not conceal any assets or liabilities
Step 4: Prioritize the needs of your children over your own.
Step 5: Work through the divorce amicably, without the assistance of attorneys and outside of court, or even with the assistance of attorneys, but keeping things level-headed and out of court.
To learn more about How to Divorce Amicably, click here.
How to Divorce with Children in an Amicable Manner
You can still file for an amicable divorce if you have children. The process of amicable divorce with children is only slightly more complicated. Children complicate divorce proceedings in terms of child support, custody arrangements, and parental responsibilities. Having minor children may have an effect on how the family car, family home, and other assets are divided. This can create opportunities for disagreement between parties or for spouses to be too far apart on issues to reach an agreement. A divorce mediator or collaborative divorce attorney can offer objective guidance on possible solutions that are best for children and spouses.
Among the parental issues involving minor children and divorce are the following:
Physical Custody of the Child(ren): Which spouse will have physical custody of the child(ren)?
Where will the child(ren) live?
How frequently can a non-custodial parent see their child(ren)?
How much child support will a non-custodial parent be required to pay the primary caregiver?
The Benefits of an Amicable Divorce
The primary benefits of an amicable divorce are its rapidity and low cost. Because both parties agree to the divorce, the process is expedited and costs less, as you require fewer legal services.
What Is the Cost of An Amicable Divorce?
On average, an amicable divorce costs approximately $7,500 for each spouse. In 2019, costs ranged between $5,000 and $10,000 per spouse in the United States. This figure includes the cost of retaining the services of a divorce mediator or collaborative divorce attorney. The majority of attorneys charge between $300 and $700 per hour for their services.
Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?
The High Desert Family Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.