Before discussing ending your marriage with your husband or wife, there are some actions you must take to safeguard your money and assets, secure childcare, and remove some of the stress of the legal proceedings.
As cold as it might feel, you must take the steps to protect yourself legally and financially before filing for divorce.
Here are the four smart steps to take before filing for divorce.
Step 1: Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
If you have decided to end your marriage, you must talk about the process with a knowledgeable divorce lawyers first to learn more about the process and the possible obstacles you might encounter.
An experienced lawyer will talk you through the process to help you mentally and legally prepare for the legal proceedings and potential hurdles.
Step 2: Organize Financial Records
Protect your future by organizing your financial records before asking your husband or wife for a divorce.
Make it your mission to gain a deeper insight into the money, assets, income sources, debts, and real estate you share or own separately.
Don’t forget to take inventory of various valuables, such as:
- Rare items
- Safety deposit box contents
Also, keep copies of important files to use as evidence, such as bank statements, contracts, wills, trusts, and more.
If you believe your husband or wife might be hiding assets from you, monitor the mail sent to your house (but do not open it) and make a note of the sender and return addresses.
Step 3: Protect Your Finances
In addition to organizing your financial records, you must protect your finances as much as possible.
If you don’t already have one, you must open a bank account in your name only and build up funds for hiring a divorce attorney and funding accommodation if you need to leave your home after asking for a divorce.
Also, you may need to repay and close a joint credit card account to stop your partner from angrily running up charges to punish you financially.
It might sound heartless to open and close accounts without telling your husband or wife, but it is a smart step to take to protect your finances and future.
Step 4: Start Writing an Honest, Detailed Journal
A cool, calm, and collected approach is the best way to handle a divorce.
Yet, your partner might not adopt the same mindset, which may result in a more stressful process and make spending time with your children harder.
If you suspect this could be the case, you must write an honest, detailed journal to serve as evidence during a case. The journal should include all interactions with your spouse and children.
For instance, you must note if your ex makes it hard to see your children, if they are late when returning your kids from an access visit (include times, dates, and experiences), or if they have been physically or verbally abusive.
An accurate could help a judge make a more informed decision, such as childcare or maintenance payments.