Divorce will change your financial life in many ways, so it’s critical to prepare in advance. Neglecting to do so increases the risk of making a mistake that costs you money both now and in the future.

While your property division checklist should include a list of all your assets, it’s the financial assets category that often receives the most attention. This is a result of it typically holding the most value.

Here are the types of assets that often fall into this category:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Cash
  • Educational accounts for your children
  • Retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans
  • Pensions
  • Profit-sharing
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Annuities
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Mutual funds
  • Trusts
  • Life insurance policy cash values

Understand the details of each asset

For example, if you brought a particular asset into the marriage, such as an individual bank account, and have never comingled the funds, it may be considered separate property. This allows you to protect it from the property division process.

Also, keep in mind that some assets will impact your finances differently in the future. Maybe it sounds like a good idea to hand over all your retirement assets in exchange for others, but this can make it very difficult to retire at your target age.

A comprehensive property division checklist will put your mind at ease as you move toward divorce and take on the process. But when you combine a checklist with knowledge of your legal rights and a plan for moving forward, you’ll have the confidence you need to tackle any challenge that comes your way.