Pre-Divorce Quiz – Finding the answers BEFORE asking for a divorce may make a difference between the alimony and child support that you get …or don’t get.

Find The Answers Before Asking For A Divorce. It may make the difference between the alimony and child support that you get … or don’t get.

(without asking your spouse)
YES (or) NO

1. Your birth certificate?
2. Your spouse’s birth certificate?
3. Birth certificates for each child?
4. Your marriage license or certificate?
5. Divorce decrees or death certificates regarding any prior marriage?
6. Records showing title to the family real estate and the cost basis adjusted for improvements and depreciation?
7. Real and personal property tax receipts?
8. Income tax returns for the past four years?
9. Title to your cemetery lot or mausoleum, if any?
10. Titles to automobiles, boats, motor homes, etc?
11. Your social security number?
12. Your spouse’s social security number?
13. Social security numbers of each of your children?
14. Where your spouse keeps life insurance policies?
15. A list of the life insurance policies on your spouse’s life, including group insurance?
16. The face value (less loans) on all insurance on your spouse’s life on January 1 of this year?
17. The name and address of the life insurance agent for your spouse?
18. The premiums, due dates, and beneficiary designations on life insurance?
19. Similar information on life insurance on your life and the lives of your children?
20. What medical, accident, and health insurance your family owns?
21. The nature, coverage’s, premiums, and due dates on all property and liability insurance?
22. The name and address of the insurance broker who handles your casualty insurance?
23. The life, accident, health and other group insurance from your spouse’s (or your) employment?
24. The amount of social security benefits you and your children will receive upon your spouse’s death?
25. A list of any benefits to which you, your spouse or your children may be entitled, based upon your spouse’s military service, or corporate stock options?
26. The market value of your separate assets on January 1 of this year?
27. The market value of your spouse’s assets on January 1 of this year?
28. The market value on January 1 of this year of all real estate, stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds, and other property owned with your spouse (or anyone) in any form of joint ownership?
29. The location and number of any safe deposit box in your spouse’s name, your name or joint names?
30. The location of the keys to the safe deposit box and the parties who have access thereto and the passwords, if any?
31. All family bank accounts, including the banks, the titles of the accounts, and the persons who have powers of attorney?
32. Where your spouse’s Will is kept?
33. The contents of your spouse’s Will, including the name of the personal representative?
34. Whether you have a power of appointment under your spouse’s Will or any other instrument?
35. The name and address of the attorney who drew the Will or should represent the estate? (You should know her or him personally.)
36. The name and address of the accountant whom your spouse employs on personal affairs?
37. The name and address of the preparer of your tax returns?
38. Your spouse’s principal banking contact?
39. The names of the stockbrokers you and your spouse use?
40. The approximate family income for the fast year?
41. Your spouse’s various business interests, including percentage of ownership, rights upon death or the death of an associate, and whether such businesses are operated as corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorship?
42. The desires of your spouse, and you, for the disposition of any closely held business?

YES (or) NO
1. At least $1,000,000 of liability coverage on your automobile?
2. Up-to-date beneficiary provisions on life insurance that have been reviewed within the last three years?
3. Current Wills (or Wills and Trusts)? This includes:
A. Have they been reviewed in the past two to three years or since new circumstances have arisen?
B. Currently acceptable personal representatives, trustees, and testamentary guardians named in your Wills?
C. An estate plan that has considered taking advantage of the marital deduction if gross family assets, including life insurance and joint property, exceed $675,000 (2001)?
4. An estate plan which has considered gifts to your children to minimize your income and estate taxes, finance their education, and start building their estate?
5. Fire insurance on your home and contents that has been checked within the last two years for the amount of coverage and the type of policy?
6. An appraisal or listing of your tangible personal property?
7. An appropriate amount of insurance on your jewelry, furs, an art objects based on recent appraisals?
8. Adequate personal and household liability insurance?
9. Knowledge of the possible gift tax liability for your home, bank account, securities or other assets placed in your joint names?
10. Complete understanding and acceptance of one another’s estate plan?


• 0 -12 YES: Terrible. Don’t sit there. Rush to your spouse and demand answers.
• 13 – 22 YES: Average. That doesn’t mean “good.” You need more information quickly!!
• 23 – 32 YES: Well above average, but you still know only about half of what you should know. Ask – soon!!
• 33 – 42 YES: Remarkable. You are among the very best informed spouses, a fraction of 15 of the total.
• 43 – 52 YES: Go to your spouse’s office and take over. Hurry – you are better than he or she is.

BY Simone Spence
Copyright 2009


  1. sabeha says:

    too late for me, but would have saved me a whole lot of headaches in the past. hopefully, the right people will read and take heed. fore-warned is fore armed. (where were you when i needed you, ms spence?

  2. Shelvie Jean says:

    I think you covered a lot. This stuff is SOOO important to have and one of the reasons my divorce only took 3 months amd one attorney, my attorney. However something VERY important that’s missing is Credit reports personal and a national search for any corporations in spouces name or any of their partners names and the credit reports pulled on them. You’d be surprised what you don’t know that you don’t know. Oh and a full D&B Report.

  3. A-vile days past says:

    Not only was this blog full of information for pre-divorce, this information should be known in case of death of your spouse or partner. This information would have saved me plenty of headaches, heartaches, and time. Thank you Ms. Spence.

  4. carisa navarro says:

    OMG!Such awsome info,I’m going through a divorce at the moment and this was so helpfull,now I know what to questions to ask;-)Thank you Simone Spence

  5. ellen schwartz says:

    Simply put. Easy to read. Very helpful.

  6. Ed says:

    Begin with the end in mind. Sounds like great advice!

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