Checklist of items to be prepared with before you consider getting a divorce

Last Updated at: Dec 10, 2020
Checklist of items to be prepared with before you consider getting a divorce
In a rare judgment, the Bombay High Court waived the six months’ cooling-off period provided under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. This was done after it accepted a woman’s plea to dissolve her marriage as she was pregnant by another man whom she intended to marry after the divorce.


Before you approach the court to file for a divorce, it is pertinent to keep in mind that the legal process of finalizing a divorce can be somewhat complex and arduous. It would be beneficial to both spouses to be prepared with certain information, documents, and to make certain decisions well in advance, in order to make the process as smooth as possible. Below are a few pointers to keep in mind, if you’re thinking of getting a divorce.

  1. Make sure that you’ve exhausted your other options before zeroing in on getting a divorce

The decision to get a divorce is an important one that is to be thoroughly thought through and considered. Given the complexities and unpredictability of outcomes in terms of child custody, property settlement, etc., it is generally advisable to have exhausted all other options and avenues of reconciliation before going ahead with the divorce. For instance, giving marriage counselling a try before deciding to get a divorce gives the spouses a chance to resolve their issues amicably.

  1. Find a good divorce lawyer

It is important for you to find a divorce lawyer that understands your concerns and goals for the dispute, and also has a good working relationship with you. As you may be aware, lawyers come at a variety of price points and levels of experience. It is particularly important to ensure that your lawyer is adequately qualified to handle your case – in case there are specific types of assets to be dealt with, for instance, it would be beneficial to get a lawyer who has experience in those areas.

  1. Gathering the necessary documents

As is the case with most litigation proceedings, divorce proceedings also rely heavily on documentation. To whatever extent possible, one must gather all relevant documents such as bank statements, financial documents, phone records, etc. before filing for divorce, so as to be best prepared.

In case of a contested divorce, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Residential proof of both spouses
  • Financial documents of both spouses, such as tax returns, bank statements, etc.
  • Any other documents to establish the grounds on which divorce is being filed
  • Marriage certificate
know more on Mutual Divorce

In the case of a divorce by mutual consent, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Residential proof of both spouses
  • Marriage certificate
  • Photographs of both spouses
  • Evidence to establish that the spouses have been living separately for at least a year
  • Proof to establish that attempts at mediation and reconciliation were not successful
  • The parties’ income tax statements for the preceding 3 financial years
  • Details regarding professions of both spouses and their current incomes
  • All documents and details outlining the property and assets owned by both spouses
  1. Set your goals for child custody

In case you have children, setting expectations and if possible, entering into mutual discussions about your custody situation is of paramount importance. It’s advisable to carefully consider each spouse’s work schedules, the children’s schedules, as well as any other obligations before arriving at a desired plan for custody. It would be greatly helpful for both spouses in case you can arrive at a mutually discussed arrangement that allows both parties time with their children.