Client Decision Checklist

The following client decision list is intended to suggest some (not all) issues to be considered

Children Decisions

Parenting Options

  • Sole custody and decision making by one parent
  • Joint decision-making, but residence primarily with one parent
  • Split residence and decision making
  • Which decisions need mutual consent/discussion?

Access or Visitation?

  • Weekdays/Weekends
  • Holidays and long weekends
  • School recesses
  • Summer vacations
  • Birthdays – Parents & children
  • Other special occasions
  • Telephone calls
  • Notice of changes
  • Expenses of missed times

Geographic Restriction

  • Foreign travel
  • Relocation with the children

Access to Records

  • Doctors, dentists, etc.
  • Schools and teachers

Notification of

  • Addresses and phone numbers
  • Illnesses and accidents
  • Children’s whereabouts

Grandparent Visitation

Support Decisions

Child Support

  • Amount
  • Date of payment
  • Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Amount or reduction on emancipation of one child

Definition of Emancipation

  • Age
  • College
  • Marriage
  • Living away from home
  • Employment

Extra Expenses

  • College or private school Tuition
  • Child care costs
  • Summer camp/activities
  • Extracurricular activities


  • Insurance coverage
  • Procedures for claims filing and reimbursement
  • Payment for uncovered expenses
  • Decisions on elective procedures, including orthodontia
  • Dental, prescription, eyeglasses, psychotherapy expenses

Life Insurance

  • Amount
  • Duration
  • Type
  • Beneficiary
  • Trustee for children
  • Amount of cash value


  • Amount
  • Cost of living adjustment
  • Time of payment
  • Duration

Health Insurance/COBRA Rights

Equitable Distribution

Real Estate (House or Apartment)

  • If marital home is sold, who occupies until sale?
  • Who pays expenses until sale on:
  • Mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, repairs

Sale of House

  • When?
  • Age or graduation of children, remarriage or cohabitation
  • Selling price:  How to be determined?
  • Option to buy
  • Expenses of sale
  • Division of proceeds
  • Capital gains exposure

If marital home to be retained by one person:

  • Who remains in house
  • Valuation of home
  • Division of value: lump sum and/or payout

Business Interests

  • Method of valuation
  • Division of value: lump sum and/or payout

Retirement Funds

  • Valuation
  • Division of value: lump sum and/or payout

Division of Personal Property

  • Bank accounts and liquid assets
  • Stocks, bonds, tax shelters
  • Cars
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Household furniture
  • Family photographs

Other Issues

Estate Waivers

  • Effects of waivers
  • Provisions for children of this marriage

Tax Returns

  • Liability or refunds on past returns
  • Future filings
  • Child Dependency Exemptions

Costs of Divorce

  • How to divide legal costs, filing fees and expert witness fees, including accountants, appraisers, etc.