Take These Important Steps Before Announcing That You Want A Divorce
The New Year is upon us and many people like to make personal changes at the start of the year as part of their New Year’s resolutions. One personal change that is commonly made in the first months of the year is divorce. January in particular has one of the highest divorce rates of any month as many people wait until the holidays are over to deal with the process of a divorce. According to a recent Time Magazine article, it is important for those who want a divorce to take three important actions before filing for divorce. If you decided that you do want a divorce, make sure to complete these steps as you prepare for divorce before making the announcement.
Collect Important Documents
This is a very important first step because as soon as the divorce is filed and made public, collecting the necessary documents becomes much more difficult. As you begin preparing for divorce, get a copy of every document that can verify assets, income, expenses and liabilities such as bank statements, tax returns, and if your marriage has one, the prenuptial agreement. It is much easier to gather these documents while you are still living with your spouse because once the divorce is filed, you will have to request the documents from your spouse, giving him or her the power to delay your request. Gathering the documents you need could take several months so plan accordingly.
Saving money is the next most important step of preparing for divorce because divorces are expensive endeavors and accessing money in a joint account is nearly impossible after the divorce has been filed. It is wise to save up enough money to cover a year’s worth of living expenses as well as your attorney’s fees. If all of your bank accounts are joint accounts and transferring money or opening a new account would raise suspicions, you might want to consider opening a credit card with a very low interest rate to cover your expenses.
Cut Credit Card Ties
The last thing you should do before filing for divorce is separate yourself from your spouse in joint credit accounts. Many married couples have shared credit accounts and in some cases, you may be able to remove your spouse from the account simply by asking the credit card company to remove his or her name as an authorized user. If your credit card company will not allow this, you can freeze the account so no further purchases can be made. This step must be the last step before announcing your divorce because your spouse will notice they have been removed from the account by using the credit card.
If you have made the personal decision that you want a divorce, make sure to take these three important steps before filing for divorce or telling your spouse that you want a divorce. Accessing joint accounts and documents necessary for completing the divorce becomes much more difficult after the divorce has been filed so taking care of these tasks now will better prepare you to go through the proceeding. Hiring an experienced attorney is also an important part of preparing for divorce as the attorney’s fees should be factored into your money saving. Talk to experienced divorce attorneys if you plan on filing for divorce.