Are you and your spouse headed to divorce court? Divorce usually isn't the desired outcome in a marriage, but sometimes it's the best option for both parties. Even if divorce is the right step for you, it can still be a stressful and emotionally draining experience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take today to make the process less stressful and to protect your assets and your financial future. Below are a few action items to implement as you prepare for divorce.
Open your own accounts
One of the most important steps you can take is to open your own bank account. Have your pay direct deposited into your new solo account to ensure that you only use it and that your spouse does not have access to it. This ensures that your income isn't used for expenses you disapprove of. Opening your own account is especially important if you don't have much credit history. Your own checking and savings accounts and your own credit card can help you start to build credit in your own name without the help of your spouse. That will be important post-divorce as you look for somewhere to live and other big purchases.
Gather asset and debt statements
One of the most important steps in a divorce is identifying all assets and debts. As soon as you know divorce is likely, start the process of gathering copies of all statements. This will help your lawyer form a strategy for dividing assets and debts. This step is particularly important if you think the divorce could be contentious and if your spouse has primarily handled the money in your relationship. They may not be transparent about assets once the divorce process starts. By gathering all statements now, you can gain a clear view of your financial situation and plan accordingly with your divorce attorney.
Stay in the house
Undoubtedly, it can be awkward and difficult to share a home with a person you are divorcing. However, if you leave the home prematurely, it could hurt you during the divorce process. Your spouse may claim that you willingly moved out of the home and have no claim to it. That could preclude you from obtaining the home or your share of the home's equity in the divorce. Instead, stay in the home until you and your spouse can reach an agreement on home ownership and the division of equity. You may need to create your own space in a spare bedroom or basement, but in the long run, it's usually best to wait on moving out of the house.
Ready to plan your post-divorce financial life? Contact a divorce attorney in your area today to start the conversation.Share
11 May 2023
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.