Before Filing For Divorce
April 7, 2014
Before filing for divorce, you should make an effort to get your ducks in a row. Just as with any major life decision, it’s best to take your time and know where you stand. Before filing, you should try to do the following:
- Talk to a marriage counselor. Even if you think there is no hope for your marriage, a counselor can assist you to figure out what went wrong, and how to cope and get through the process.
- Gather copies of your financial documents. These include income taxes returns (including business taxes), personal property tax returns, banking information, any financial statements prepared by you or others, loan documents, brokerage statements, stock certificates, pension and retirement fund documents, wills and trusts, life insurance policies, outstanding debt documentation, deeds for real property, list/documents regarding personal property, titles to vehicles, any business agreements, and documents regarding any other asset. Having copies of these documents early will save you time and expense of having to hunt them down later.
- Check your credit. Request a copy of your credit report, so you can correct any mistakes, or pay any outstanding collections. Good credit is imperative when applying for loans for a new house, or applying for a new job. If you have joint credit cards, discuss closing them with your spouse.
- Apply for your own separate credit cards. This way, you can establish credit in your own name, which will allow you to build up your credit. In order to build good credit, pay off the credit card each month, and do not accrue any debt.
- Make a post-divorce budget. Determine what you will have to live on after the divorce is final, and start saving as much as you can. You will have to estimate some expenses, but it is important to know what you will need to survive post divorce.
- Do not leave the marital home without talking to an attorney first. Leaving the home may result in alimony payments, or your inability to collect alimony. If you leave the home, you may be unable to return until the divorce is finalized (which could take a year or more). Of course if there is abuse or physical violence, you need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your children.
While this is a good start, it is not a complete list of the things you need to know for a divorce. If you are contemplating divorce, contact Khadilkar Law for a consultation. We can provide you with guidance and empathy in this emotional time.