You’ve decided you need a divorce, but what is next? Is there anything you can do to prepare for your forthcoming divorce? Often, the answer is that it depends on your situation and a whole list of factors, like children, age, assets, home ownership, abuse, debt, etc. However, some general advice is helpful when getting started:
- Meet with an attorney. Each situation is unique, and a consultation can give you guidance on what your particular situation might require.
- Gather documents, such as bank records, passwords, mortgage documents, taxes, home values, insurance statements, retirement statements, etc.
- Make a list of assets that either you or your spouse has (think businesses, accounts, cars, boats, homes, property, and stocks).
- Make a list of debts that either you or your spouse has (credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, etc.).
- Get an emotional support network in place, and make a list of people you can call in the middle of a tough situation: therapist, parents, and close friends.
- Be on your best behavior. (Keep in mind, anything you say or do will likely be used in court and scrutinized by the judge.)
- Change your login information: email, social media, Apple ID, shared iPads and devices, Venmo.
- Consider opening a new bank account and updating your direct deposit information.
- Secure your personal items.
- Gather documentation regarding your current estate plan, and consider updating it to remove your spouse as a beneficiary.
- Don’t post anything on social media. In fact, it may be worth it to suspend any social media accounts until after the divorce is completed.
- Don’t sign anything given to you by your spouse or their attorney without consulting your own attorney first.
- Don’t involve your minor children — keep the kids out of the conflict as much as possible.
- Don’t move out unless there is abuse or unless you’ve consulted with an attorney about the potential impact.
At Pearson Butler, we are well equipped to walk you through your unique situation and help you decide what other steps you should take in preparing for a divorce. When it takes a team, we understand.
Call Pearson Butler at (800) 265-2314 to get started today.