The ending of a marriage, no matter the cause, is devastating. There are so many highly charged emotions that will play out during the weeks and months to come. As hard as the decision is to possibly divorce, it will be harder still if you are left unprepared for life once the divorce is completed.
Where do I start?
Once you have decided that a divorce is a possibility, you should start by seeking legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney in your area. Contacting an attorney does not mean that you and your spouse can not ultimately decide to stay together, it simply allows you to gather the information that you need to understand the ramifications of a divorce. This advice is particularly important if you have children or issues that make a divorce complicated.
Gather your family records
Once the decision is made to proceed toward a divorce, mutual records may not be as easy to access as you would need them to be. You and your spouse may also want to consider keeping this information in a safe location that is away from the martial home. Documents that you should consider gathering are:
- Insurance policies
- Mortgage Documents
- Tax Returns
- Investment Documents
- Inventory of property and investment properties
- Prenuptial Agreements
Prepare for a Solo Credit History
It is not unusual for a married couple to have all of the financial accounts in the name of one spouse. This practice may leave the other spouse without established credit if a divorce should happen. You need to know your credit status, and you can do this by pulling your credit reports from each of the bureaus. If you do not have an established credit history, you can apply for a credit card in your name to begin a credit history.
You should also open an individual banking account. You will need funds to pay for divorce-related expenses. Your lawyer will advise you on how much if any money that you are allowed to withdraw from your joint bank account.
Secure Your Digital Accounts
You should consider changing your passwords to all of your online accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email. Changing your passwords will prevent an emotionally charged spouse from accessing your accounts and gathering information from them without your knowledge.
Have a Plan for Your Children
If you and your spouse have children together, you will want to consider them in every move you make. This consideration includes your behavior. Your spouse can use any inappropriate behavior on your part against you if custody becomes a question. Consider refraining from arguing with your spouse in front of your children. Remember that this will be a highly emotional time for your children as well.
For more information, call a professional like Kolker Law Offices PC.