Admitting that a marriage is over and divorce is imminent can be a difficult thing to do, but once you have admitted it to yourself it’s time to start making some decisions. Most people are not sure about the steps they should be taking after they have made the decision to divorce, and that can leave them stuck and uncertain. They may also make mistakes that can cost them emotionally and financially, so it’s important to know what should be done to protect themselves. If you’re in that position, there are several things you need to do before you file for divorce that can help you be more secure as you go through the process.
Make Sure You Have the Paperwork
You should have access to your birth certificate, passports, and other important records. You should also have access to bank accounts and insurance information, and proof of any property you own together. If you aren’t sure where those things are or you need to get copies of them, now is the time to do so. That way you can prove all of the assets that belong to the marriage. If the divorce becomes contentious and your spouse tries to hide things, you want to be able to show the court that there are other assets you have a legal right to. That can make a big difference in your financial future.
Separate Yours From Theirs, if You Can
If you have joint accounts or are on joint credit cards, you can start to separate those things. Open accounts that are just yours. Get a bank account and credit cards in your name. Even if you don’t move your half of the money just yet, having the account will give you the freedom to do so. If you think there’s any chance your spouse will try to hide money or keep you from getting what’s fair to you, talk to an attorney about whether to transfer any money to your account before you tell them you want to divorce. Protecting yourself during this vulnerable time is highly important, and needs to be done carefully to reduce your risk.
Consider What You Want Most From This
Think about the things you want from the divorce, and what you will really need. That can help you know what to ask for when you file, and can also give you the opportunity to be fair with your spouse and with yourself. If you have any children from the marriage, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for them, and that you’ve considered where they will stay and what you’re willing to accept in that regard. Money and children are the two biggest contention points in most divorces, so be prepared for your spouse to disagree with your plan when you file your papers.
Hire an Attorney to Help You File for a Divorce
You don’t have to go through this alone. By hiring an attorney who is proficient in divorce concerns, you can have a strong legal advocate on your side and protect yourself more easily. Be sure to hire someone you feel comfortable with, and who has the experience to guide you through the process and out the other side as successfully as possible.