Divorce is a weighty decision that you can’t just jump into on a whim. Not only is it incredibly complicated, but it’s also financially draining. You can keep both your stress levels and expenditures low with sufficient planning and preparation. Here’s what you need to do to prepare yourself for a divorce:
Speak to a lawyer
Meeting with several different divorce lawyers and discussing your options will help you greatly with the divorce process. It’s recommended that you try to shop around for the lawyer that will best suit your needs. They’ll be able to supply you with all the information you’ll need to successfully navigate the complex legal system so you can arrive at the most advantageous solution for you.
Be open about it with your partner
If you’re in good terms with your partner before the divorce, it’s recommended that you be open and honest with them about why you want to pursue a divorce. Working together will make the process much smoother and quicker. If you don’t feel safe opening up about this with your spouse, you may need to ask for professional help to ensure your safety or if you’re a woman, approach a women’s shelter.
Collect documentation and records
Be as organised as possible when approaching your divorce. You’ll have to gather all necessary records and documents so you can easily deliver them to your lawyer as well as store them in a safe place. Among the documents you’ll need include: a will, proof of income, prenuptial agreement, insurance policies, identification documents, tax returns, and mortgage documents, if applicable.
Set up a post office box
If you don’t have your own place of residence away from your spouse, you’ll need to set up a post office box. This gives you a confidential location to receive documents and communications pertaining to your divorce that you’ll be sending or receiving from your lawyer.
Open a new bank account
Your lawyer might ask you to close down any joint accounts you have with your spouse and withdraw half of the funds, usually as a safety precaution. If you don’t have your own bank account separate from your spouse, you’ll need to set up a new one to keep your money secure.
Take stock of your assets
Do a full inventory of all your assets as well as your investments and physical property. Take note of the items that you accrued before the marriage as well as the things that you received as either inheritance or as a gift. You should also take photographs that clearly mark the date you took them as an extra precaution. Make sure to collect any records that guarantee the value of particular items like a deed, insurance policy, or financial record.
Protect your digital information
Did you used to share your electronic devices with your spouse? If so, you’ll need to reset and clear any important login credentials on all your electronic devices to make sure your spouse doesn’t log into them. Be especially careful with your text messages, emails, and social media. Your spouse might use the information they find on there against you.
Divorce is a lengthy and exhausting process. Don’t draw it out any longer by adequately preparing for it before you commit to your decision.