Divorce is almost never an easy thing to get through, and is often a very emotional time. That being said, it is important to ensure that the terms of the divorce are fair to both parties and that both assets and liabilities are equally shared.
Any physical thing that you own – car, house, boat, etc. – will need to be divided between the two parties. If there are two cars, each party may get their primary vehicle. If one party has primary custody of the children, they may get the house. Every item will be valued to reach a settlement.
Assets such as your bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance policies, stock options, etc. will all need to be inventoried and evaluated before they can be divided. If there is a family business, both the assets and liabilities of it will need to be divided as well, taking into consideration future revenues and expenses. Any loans that have been made that are due to be paid back are also an asset that should be shared, as is any tax refund due back for the last year spent together.
There are other assets that should be taken into consideration that will also need to be valued. Travel reward points should be split evenly. Memberships to clubs that had annual and initiation fees to join will need to be considered assets as well. Any sort of collectibles or memorabilia should be valued to see if there is any kind of monetary value, or if it is purely sentimental. Personal items, such as photographs or videos should be copied so that both parties have access to these memories.
Although you may think of your pets as children, for the purposes of divorce they are considered property. Pet custody is often given to whoever can demonstrate the best ability to take care of the pets, or proves a history of being the primary caregiver.
If children are involved, there is no way to avoid the need for a custody agreement. Determining who has custody and how expenses pertaining to the children are split will need to be part of the agreement. Additional items: such as braces, tuition, those things not considered day-to-day expenses, should also be discussed and determined at the time of the divorce.
In addition to assets, there will undoubtedly be debt that has been incurred as well. Any credit cards or loans, or anything of that nature that is defined as a debt incurred during the marriage, will need to be divided between the two parties.