If you are considering marriage dissolution, there are some important steps you need to take to prepare yourself for what is to come. It is best to know what you should expect and get your affairs in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. consider the following tips prior to filing for a divorce:
Get Your Finances in Order
Before you do anything else, make sure you know how you intend to support yourself. If you have a job and you and your spouse do not share finances, this step will be fairly easy. However, if you are not currently working or if your finances are combined, there are some things you need to do to be sure you have access to money once you begin the divorce process.
If you each have your own bank accounts, it is still a good idea to change your passwords, particularly if your spouse has ever had access to them. If you share bank accounts, you should start your own bank accounts in your name only. Ask your attorney as to how much money you are entitled to before you remove any money from your shared account. You do not want to be accused of taking money that you do not necessarily have a right to.
You also should create a spreadsheet of your debts and other assets, including credit cards, mortgage, retirement accounts, pensions, and the like. You will need this information when it comes time for debt and asset division.
Think About Custody
If you have children, you need to think about what you want your custody situation to look like. Unless your spouse is found guilty of abuse or other egregious behaviors, the judge will likely grand joint custody as this is typically what is in the best interest of the children. Think about how you want your co-parenting plan to look. This includes how you share holidays, how you deal with participation in your children's extra-curricular activities, who picks them up from school, and so on.
Think About Where You Will Live
You also need to know where you will live once you dissolve your marriage. You and your spouse need to decide what will happen to your home. If you want to keep your home, you will likely have to pay your spouse his or her share in the house. If you do not want to stay in the house, consider where you do want to live. Research the options in your area, or decide if you want to move further away. If you do want to move a distance away and you have children, you need to consider how you will co-parent your children in this situation. You can also sell the house and divide the equity if neither of you wants to remain in the house.Share