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Preparing for Divorce: Essential Documents and Steps to Take

Updated: Jun 5

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, but with careful preparation, you can navigate it more smoothly. The Clean Divorce, a reputable Canadian divorce company, understands the importance of being well-prepared when dissolving a marriage. 

In this article, we will explore the essential documents and steps to take when preparing for a divorce, helping you make informed decisions and ensure a cleaner and more amicable separation.

Gather Financial Documents

One crucial aspect of divorce is the division of assets and liabilities. To streamline this process, gather important financial documents, including:

  • Bank statements: Collect statements from all your bank accounts, including savings, checking, and investment accounts. These statements will help determine the extent of your assets and liabilities.

  • Investment account statements: If you have any investment accounts, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, gather statements that provide a clear picture of the value of these investments.

  • Tax returns: Retrieve personal and business tax returns for at least the past three to five years. These documents contain valuable financial information and can help assess income, deductions, and any potential tax implications.

  • Employment records: Compile documents related to your employment, such as pay stubs, employment contracts, and any other relevant income verification records.

  • Mortgage and loan documents: Gather documents pertaining to your mortgage, home equity loans, personal loans, and any other outstanding debts.

  • Credit card statements: Collect recent statements for all credit cards in your name or jointly held with your spouse.

  • Property ownership records: Make copies of property deeds, titles, and any other documents that establish ownership or joint ownership of real estate, vehicles, or other valuable assets.

  • Retirement account statements: Obtain statements for any retirement accounts, such as 401(k), IRAs, pension plans, or other forms of retirement savings.

Having these documents readily available will provide a comprehensive picture of your financial situation, aiding in negotiations and equitable division of marital property.

Compile Personal Identification and Family Records

Organizing personal identification and family records is essential when preparing for divorce. Ensure you have copies of the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate

  • Birth certificates of children

  • Social Insurance Numbers (SIN)

  • Passports and driver's licenses

  • Health and life insurance policies

  • Wills and estate planning documents

  • Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements

  • By gathering these records in advance, you will be better prepared to address legal and financial matters during the divorce process.

Consult with a Family Lawyer

Navigating the legal complexities of divorce can be challenging. It is strongly advised to consult with an experienced family lawyer who specializes in divorce cases. The 

Clean Divorce offers access to knowledgeable and dedicated family lawyers who can provide expert guidance tailored to the Canadian legal framework. A family lawyer will help you understand your rights, explain the divorce process, and advocate for your best interests. They can assist in negotiating settlements, drafting legal documents, and representing you in court, if necessary. 

Working with a reputable divorce company like The Clean Divorce ensures that you receive the professional support you need throughout the divorce process. Find out more about work at

Prioritize Child-Related Matters

If you have children, their well-being should be a top priority when preparing for divorce. Establishing custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and child support agreements is crucial. To effectively address child-related matters, gather all relevant information about your children, including:

  • School records: Collect academic records, report cards, and any other documents related to your children's education.

  • Medical documents: Gather medical records, including vaccination records, prescriptions, and information about any ongoing medical conditions or treatments.

  • Extracurricular activities: Compile information about your children's extracurricular activities, such as sports, music lessons, or clubs they are involved in.

By being well-prepared with comprehensive information about your children, you can work towards creating a stable and healthy environment for them throughout and after the divorce.

Consider Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution

Resolving divorce-related issues through mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods can often result in a more amicable and cost-effective process. The Clean Divorce offers services that encourage open communication, negotiation, and compromise to help couples find mutually satisfactory solutions. Mediation allows you and your spouse to work with a neutral third party who facilitates discussions and helps reach agreements on various aspects of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support. 

By exploring these options, you may be able to reduce conflict and achieve a fair settlement outside of court, saving time, money, and emotional distress.

Preparing for divorce requires careful organization and planning. By gathering essential financial documents, compiling personal identification and family records, consulting with a family lawyer, prioritizing child-related matters, and considering alternative dispute resolution methods, you can lay the groundwork for a smoother and more equitable divorce process.

The Clean Divorce, with its expertise in Canadian divorce proceedings, can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate this challenging life transition. Find out more about our work at

Remember, taking the necessary steps to prepare for divorce can contribute to a cleaner and more manageable separation, setting the stage for a positive new chapter in your life.

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