5 things to know before filing for divorce

A divorce is the split of two people about to embark on the path toward separate lives. It is the breakaway from a foundation that you and your spouse built together. Now, that foundation will no longer exist.

You have moved out of the house with every intention of filing for divorce. Now you must take some additional necessary and crucial steps in preparation for your pending divorce. Completing these steps will protect you while pursuing this journey of self-reliance.

Know your financial standing, assemble records

There are a number of matters you must confront and deal with before a divorce. Here are some of the essential things that you should not overlook:

  • Understand your financial standing. A divorce drastically affects the financial situations of the people involved. You need to know where you stand. Determine what you own in non-marital assets as well as the shared marital assets such as your home. Review your investments as well. Do you have debt from credit cards or car payments? If you move out of the house, do you know how much in apartment rent you can afford?
  • Assemble your financial records. This list may include bank and loan accounts along with mutual fund and retirement investments. Also, secure all tax records during the time of your marriage. This will help you determine income and earnings and shed some light on certain investments that you or your spouse own individually or together.
  • Get credit in your own name. Many married people already rely on their own credit. But, if you do not, it is important to do so. Open a credit card in your name to help build good credit.
  • Close joint accounts. These include banking checking and savings accounts and credit card accounts. Your marriage has crumbled, and you do not want to see your credit crumble or have your spouse take advantage of you by purchasing something unnecessary with funds from your joint account.
  • Retain a divorce attorney. Do your own research whether it be online or asking professional colleagues or close friends for any references. An attorney is your ally and will advocate for you at every step.

These moves represent examples of looking out for yourself. Self-preservation is important when you decide to leave a marriage. Do your homework, turn to trusted people for advice and begin the journey toward a new life.

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