- Consult with an Attorney- You need to consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area. Divorce is complicated and it is better to know all your rights prior to making any substantial moves towards a divorce.
- Get your Finances in Order- You need to be aware of all your finances before a divorce. If you don’t have a bank account or a credit card in your name you may want to do this prior to a divorce. Also, make sure you make copies of all your financial records (bank statements, tax returns, stocks, etc.).
- Understand your Debts- If you have any debts (credit card debt, mortgage, student loans, etc.) you need to be aware of how much the debt is prior to a divorce.
- Have a Plan for when you Leave- If you are serious about leaving you need to have a plan set in place for how you will support yourself once you do leave. Where will you live? How will you support yourself if you don’t have a job? These important things to think about.
- Car Insurance- If you plan to keep the family vehicle then you need to think about purchasing your own car insurance. Start looking around and comparing prices. Also, think about how you can afford this.
- Health Insurance- Once a divorce is filed you will be required to be on your own health insurance unless you and your spouse decide otherwise. So, get ahead of the game and start comparing prices for health insurance and find a plan that works for you.
- Don’t Discuss Affairs- If you have had an affair do not discuss this with anyone other than you attorney. Adultery can affect alimony issues.
- Close Joint Accounts- Close all of your joint checking accounts (if there are any). Also, any bills that are in both of your names need to be changed. Basically, anything that is listed jointly needs to be changed.
- Know what Property you Want- When you go through a divorce equitable distribution of the property will be something you and your spouse need to figure out. In order to make this easier for yourself go ahead and start thinking about what marital property you want to keep and what martial property you don’t want to keep.
- Talk with Marriage Counselor- Divorce is hard and discussing your issues with a marriage counselor might help you, even if you spouse doesn’t want to go with you.
By: Anna Gray Carpenter