You’ve decided to wait until the first of the year to file for divorce — but that doesn’t mean you can rest while you wait. There’s a lot you should be doing between now and then.
Things you need to do today to make divorce easier
The more prepared you are when you first walk into your attorney’s office, the easier it will be for you to move forward. Here’s how to get ready:
- Dig into your household records: Most people are a little bit in the dark about their marital assets and debts. Even if you have been keeping up on all your family investments and bills, you need to start compiling the records. Make copies so that nothing disappears.
- Figure out your budget: Both your current lifestyle and the one you hope to have after the divorce can affect your financial settlement and support, so start keeping track of your expenses. You should also start looking around at new living quarters and gathering an estimate about your future costs.
- Carve out a financial safety-zone: You need to open a new bank account and get a few credit cards that are just in your name. You want to have someplace to deposit your paycheck and a way to pay bills that your spouse can’t control.
- Get a new email account and think about social media: A considerable amount of life today is handled online: An email account that your spouse doesn’t know about can help you preserve your privacy. New social media accounts might also be in order.
- Talk to human resources or your manager: If you work outside the home, you may want to check with human resources to find out how your divorce will affect any benefits you have and what steps you need to take to make tax adjustments.
Finally, consider making an appointment with an attorney now, rather than later. Talking with an attorney about the specifics of your situation will give you a better idea of what to expect as you move forward — it doesn’t mean you have to take action until you are ready.