Moving After Divorce: A Comprehensive Checklist

By staff
Updated Feb 09, 2024


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Unlike the popular perception, moving doesn’t need to be a stressful process. When moving due to divorce, you may feel overwhelmed. Your life may feel like it's going in all directions.

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So to help you keep the moving process manageable following your divorce, here are some things to remember:

The Most Important Things That Should Be On Your Divorce Moving Out Checklist:

The most important documents that should be included in your divorce checklist are:

  1. Income Tax Returns (For help with filing your separate taxes, you can get more information here)
  2. Financial Records.
  3. Employment Records.
  4. Pension Plan Information.
  5. Debt Records
  6. Investment Account Statements
  7. Social Security Statements
  8. Wills
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Start The Moving Process Early

It is important to stay in the know and know what is ahead when moving after a divorce. If possible, give yourself eight weeks to handle the moving to-dos in an orderly, low-stress manner.

This expert two-month moving calendar will keep you organized and clear-headed. Simply follow these steps and check them off one-by-one as you finalize your divorce and start your next chapter


  • Check the cost on different moving services to get an idea on how much moving companies will cost.
  • Start the process of selecting a mover.
  • Check your mover’s record with the BBB in your state. You can find local New York offices here and local California offices here. A great reputation is the best way to choose a mover.
  • If you’re being relocated by your company, verify what the company relocation policy covers and what responsibilities fall on your shoulders.
  • Start to inventory and divide up your belongings: Decide who gets what, which items to donate, recycle, to take and which items (if any) need to go into short-term or long-term storage.
  • Your tape measure is your new BFF – measure all the rooms in your new home, include layouts of doors, closets and windows. Measure all the furniture that is going with you and create scaled cutouts to place in a scaled layout for each room. Once you have finalized a room layout that works photocopy your final layout for each room. Give a copy to the movers on moving day and tape a copy to each room.


  • Mail change of address cards or change your information online at the following:
  • Post office
  • Local Department of Motor Vehicles for License & Registration - New York, California
  • Social security
  • Insurance companies (Do you need separate homeowners, renters, or auto insurance? We have a partner who can help)
  • Credit card companies
  • Credit bureau and/or other creditors. Need help with your credit? Our partner can assist.
  • Employer (to forward W2s)
  • Broker
  • Mail order accounts
  • Magazines
  • Friends and relatives
  • Arrange to clean furniture, drapes, etc. in your new place if necessary.
  • Gather personal records (medical, dental, etc.)
  • Arrange to transfer children’s school records
  • Gather all pet's vet records and make sure all pets are micro chipped and chip corresponds to a cell number that goes with you on your move. Order new tags and licenses with new address and your cell phone number.
  • Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal-property insurance. If you need new insurance, our partner can help.
  • Start to pack.


  • Make arrangements to discontinue current utilities and schedule the start-up of new utilities:
  • Land line telephone service
  • Cable TV
  • Internet
  • Electricity (check for refund)
  • Gas (check for refund)
  • Fuel oil
  • House cleaners
  • Babysitters
  • Dog walkers
  • Gardeners
  • Pool Service
  • Diaper service
  • Water
  • Water softener
  • Parking
  • Have appliances serviced for shipment.


  • Arrange to transfer local bank accounts. Speak to your bank and find out about new checks being printed, etc. Don't forget your safety deposit box contents. If you need separate accounts, we have partnered with an online bank to make it easy. Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records.
  • Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records.
  • Cancel newspaper delivery.
  • Refill all prescriptions. Get prescriptions transferred to new pharmacy closer to new home.
  • Make arrangements to move children and pets. Do you need a babysitter for a day or two? A pet sitter?
  • Confirm that mover will move houseplants; if not, make arrangements. Houseplants, usually, cannot be moved by a mover, especially on long distance or out of state moves.
  • Start to disassemble any shelving, closet systems, etc. that you plan to take or arrange with the mover that they will be doing this on the day of the move.
  • If you need one, hire a cleaning crew to come clean your empty place to get your deposit back. Will your new place need a cleaning crew before move in too?


  • Pack in separate boxes the items necessary for first days in new home: Label “LOAD LAST.” And label where to put each of those boxes in your new home: “top of kitchen counter.”
    • Medicine (always keep prescriptions on you)
    • Comfortable clothes
    • Linens and towels
    • Toothbrushes and toiletries
    • Paper goods
    • Disposable plates and silverware
    • Foil and wax paper
    • Plastic containers
    • Microwave
    • Vacuum cleaner
    • Garbage bags
    • Tool kit
    • Step ladder
    • Extension cords
    • Light bulbs
    • Cleaning items (mop and pail, broom and dustpan, etc.)
  • Each member of the family should also pack a suitcase with what they need for a few days while you’re getting settled into your new place. Don't forget cell phone chargers, medications and favorite teddy bears.
  • If the movers are packing all or part of your belongings, call to schedule and confirm the details. Make sure your mover knows how much packing you expect to do yourself and how much you expect them to do.
  • Plan to use up most food items before the move. If you have any leftover food on moving day, donate it to Move For Hunger.
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  • Defrost and dry refrigerators/freezers to be moved.
  • Gather valuables and important documents from jewelry cases, safe deposit box, etc. to take with you in car. Do not pack these items with your other belongings.
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Moving Out

  • Arrange to be on hand for last minute details and to give directions to movers.
  • Leave the whole day for your move. Don’t plan to go back to work, arrange a dinner date, etc.
  • Have payment for movers on hand. Avoid having to run out to bank, ATM, etc.
  • Have tips ready for everyone who is assisting you: cleaning crew, doormen, nanny, dog sitter, movers, etc.
  • Before leaving, check each room and closet. Check garage, basement and attic.
  • When you leave, turn off lights, close windows and lock doors.

Moving In

  • Supervise placement of boxes and furniture. Refer to your premade layout. Scotch tape a copy of the layout to each room’s door.
  • Check for damages. Inspect large items; look for boxes that are crushed or open. Inform the moving foreman and review the claims procedure with him.
  • Go back to the truck. Make sure nothing was left behind. Check all the compartments where fragile items are often kept for their protection.
  • Settle in to your new place; take photos for friends and family. A new chapter in your life has just begun! Let the new adventure begin!

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