Mediation and Professional Training, with Bob Collins
(212) 692-9222 | 914-271-9598 | bcollins@bestweb.net

Divorce Decisions Checklist


PARENTING DECISIONS
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SCHEDULE vid-camera-icon
School evenings, weeknights, and weekends
Three-day weekends
School recesses – Winter and Spring
Summer vacations
Holiday celebrations
Birthdays of Parents/ Child[ren]
Mothers’/Fathers’ Day
Telephone/e-mail/texting access to the child[ren]
Transportation between households
Travel away from home with the child[ren]
Etiquette (rules) for visits, cancellations
Changes to the schedule at future times

DECISION-MAKING vid-camera-icon
Joint agreement, consultation, or sole authority for decisions on:
Education
Extracurricular/weekend activities
Medical care (non-emergency or elective)
Religious upbringing
Childcare providers

INFORMATION
Mechanisms for sharing information about the child[ren]
Receiving records and reports from physicians, dentists, etc.
Receiving reports and notices from schools, teachers, etc.

RELOCATION
Rules or adjustments for change of child[ren]‘s residence

GUARDIANSHIP
In event of the death of both parents

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS
Interactions with Grandparents and other family members
Introduction of New Partners/Step Parents


PROPERTY DIVISION vid-camera-icon

ASSETS
Identification of all assets
Classification of assets as Marital or Separate
Evaluation, and date for valuation of assets
Division

MARITAL RESIDENCE
Who, if either, stays ? If retained by one, what and when paid ?
If to be sold, when ? sales price ? division of proceeds ?

OTHER REAL PROPERTY
Time Share / Weekend or Country house
Sale, share or buy-out ?

LIQUID ASSETS
Bank accounts
Investments — mutual funds, stocks, bonds
Life Insurance (cash value)

RETIREMENT FUNDS/ PENSIONS vid-camera-icon

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
Deferred Compensation
Stock Options

BUSINESS INTERESTS

DEGREES/ LICENSES vid-camera-icon

OTHER PROPERTY
Automobiles
Household furnishings / Personal effects

PETS

LIABILITIES
Credit Cards
Other Debts

PARENTING EXPENSES

CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS BASIC COSTS vid-camera-icon
Basic Support Under the Guidelines
Calculation of needs by Budget
Adjustment upon the emancipation of each child
Cost of Living Adjustments
Modifications at future time/upon each child’s emancipation

MAJOR EXPENDITURES: vid-camera-icon

EDUCATIONAL COSTS
Extracurricular activities
Summer camp/activities/lessons
Private school tuition
College tuition and costs

MEDICAL COSTS
Health Insurance: whose plan? who pays? what reimbursement procedures?
Uncovered expenses and deductibles

CHILDCARE
Costs for both parents to work

TAX EXEMPTIONS/CREDITS
Allocation of annual benefits

INHERITANCE
Provisions for the child[ren]

SPOUSAL ASSISTANCE

SPOUSAL SUPPORT (MAINTENANCE / ALIMONY) vid-camera-icon
Amount
Duration
Cost of Living adjustments
Modification for future changes
Co-habitation definition and effect

SPOUSAL HEALTH INSURANCE vid-camera-icon

TAX RAMIFICATIONS

CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS — not deductible to payor, nor income to recipient

SPOUSAL SUPPORT PAYMENTS — deductible to payor, but income to recipient

DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY — no capital gains taxes due upon changes in title

BASIS ISSUES — any appreciated assets ?

CAPITAL GAINS ISSUES — from sale of marital home, or other assets

TAX RETURNS    – how to file for Current / Future years

OTHER ISSUES

LIFE INSURANCE — what is needed to underwrite future obligations ?

LEGAL REPRESENTATION — utilized or waived ?

MEDIATION AND COUNSEL FEES — how to cover ?

DISPUTE RESOLUTION — mediation clause for future issues ?

RELIGIOUS DIVORCE — any agreement required ?



STANDARD PROVISIONS
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SEPARATE LIVES – Living independently, as if unmarried

ESTATE WAIVERS – Right to leave estate without restrictions

RELEASES – No lawsuits for other claims

COUNSEL FEES FOR BREACH – Attorney’s fees awarded for non-compliance

CHOICE OF LAW PROVISIONS – New York law applies

FULL DISCLOSURE – No further, formal discovery needed

FUTURE DEBTS – No spousal responsibility for any new debts

SURVIVAL, NOT MERGER, OF AGREEMENT – Agreement binding after divorce

COUNTERPARTS – Separate signatures allowed

DIVORCE OPTIONS IN NEW YORK  vid-camera-icon

NO-FAULT OPTIONS
Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage (for six months)
Conversion Divorce (one year after Agreement)

DIVORCE ON FAULT GROUNDS
Abandonment
Constructive Abandonment
Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
Adultery
Imprisonment for Three Years

TIMING ISSUES
Tax Filings
Health Insurance Coverage
Personal Concerns