There may come a point when you realize that divorce is the only way to better your life. As disappointing as it may be, you can’t let your guard down. It’s critical to protect your legal rights every step of the way.

When it comes to property division, there’s a good chance you and your soon to be ex-spouse won’t see eye to eye. This is why it’s critical to create a property division checklist in advance of your divorce proceedings.

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

  • Real estate: In addition to your family home, add things such as rental property and vacation property.
  • Personal property: These are items that you typically keep at home, such as china, jewelry, clothes, antiques, collectibles, artwork, guns, electronics, home furnishings and motor vehicles.
  • Financial assets: For high net worth couples, this category typically garners the most attention. It includes but is not limited to bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, educational accounts, annuities, trusts and life insurance policy cash values.
  • Business property: If one or both individuals own a business, this category becomes extremely important. It entails assets such as commercial real estate, office equipment and other business interests.

It’s up to you to protect yourself during the divorce process. When it comes to your assets, use a property division checklist to your advantage. This will help you get organized and pinpoint any assets your spouse is trying to hide, while also giving you the guidance you require to proceed with confidence.