Going through a divorce will change your life in many ways. From the way you raise your children to the money you have access to in the near future, there are many things you need to prepare for.

A property division checklist is not required by law, but it can go a long way in helping you better understand your situation. And when you understand what you’re up against, you can make more informed decisions.

Here are the four categories that most commonly make up a property division checklist:

  • Personal property: These are the items you typically keep at home, such as clothing, furniture, automobiles, antiques and electronics.
  • Real property. This includes any type of real estate, such as the family home, vacation property and undeveloped land.
  • Financial assets. Often among the most valuable assets, these include bank accounts, cash on hand, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, annuities and trusts.
  • Business assets. If you and/or your spouse is a business owner, some of the assets associated with your company could be included in your divorce.

The nice thing about a property division checklist is that it allows you to get organized from the start. This helps prevent a situation in which you overlook an important asset.

You should also make a list of all your joint and separate debts, as these can also be a sticking point during your divorce.

There is no way of knowing what will happen in regard to property division, but having a checklist and knowing all aspects of the divorce process allows you to proceed with confidence in a timely manner.