Before filing for divorce, take these steps to prepare

When you make the decision to file for a divorce, you may be wondering when you should start the process. Perhaps you think it will be easier on your children to wait for the school year to end. Or, maybe there is a family event coming up that you do not want to spoil. While these reasons are acceptable, you definitely should not file for divorce until you are fully prepared.

Divorce is often very complicated. You will have to make decisions regarding finances, dividing marital property and working out a custody schedule with your soon-to-be-ex. By following the steps below, you can properly prepare for your divorce.

Get your finances in order

Your finances will play a major role in your divorce. For example, you need a detailed list of assets and debts that you and your husband acquired during the marriage. Furthermore, the assets on the list must include their appropriate valuations. In addition, you should make a budget that reflects your anticipated living expenses once you separate. By having a complete view of your financial situation, you can make informed decisions about what you need from your divorce settlement.

Open your own account

If you do not have your own bank account or credit card, now is the time open one. You will need a good credit report if you plan to apply for a home or car loan. Open separate checking and savings accounts at a bank other than the one where you and your husband have joint accounts. Also, apply for a credit card to build your own credit history.

Fund your accounts

Once you have separate bank accounts in place, it is time to start funding them. Between filing fees and attorney costs, divorce can be expensive. Be sure you start setting aside funds in your separate bank accounts to get you started with the divorce process. Also, having plenty of money in these accounts will provide protection in case your husband cuts off your access to the joint accounts.

Build your team

Divorce is not a process you should go through alone. This means you should have a strong support system in place before you have your first meeting with your divorce attorney. This might include bringing in an accountant, financial advisor and a therapist. Also, do not discount the help your family and friends offer.

If you are planning to divorce, it is important to take preparatory steps to protect yourself and help the process go more smoothly. By using the above tips, you can be ready for your divorce before you file the initial petition.

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