If you are about to go through a divorce, or even if the proceedings have already begun, then you can make it much easier for yourself by following the tips and advice given here. These suggestions will help to protect your assets and mean that you are less likely to be struggling financially after the divorce.
- Open a bank account under your own name. You may already have one, in which case you can use this, but if you have been using joint accounts throughout your marriage, then you need to open your own personal account. All of your income from now on must be paid directly into this account. This will give you some funds to live on during the divorce, and also ensures that your spouse does not have access to this money.
- You should also start saving as much as you can afford. Divorce lawyers are expensive, and some will require an upfront payment before they will agree to take your case. Having some savings set aside will be important when it comes to paying for legal advice.
- Keep a copy of any document relating to your own and any joint finances. This includes loan agreements, mortgage documents, tax returns, as well as all of the statements for your bank accounts and credit cards. Keep these in a safe place, and also ensure that your lawyer has a copy of everything. They will need the paperwork in order to get you the best possible
- Start building your credit. If you don’t have much of a credit history because everything has been in joint names for the duration of your marriage, then it is time to start building one up. The easiest way to do this is to apply for a credit card that is solely in your name. Use this card for your essential purchases only, such as food, and pay it all off in full each month. Do not allow debt to build up on the card.
- Hire an experienced lawyer or mediator. The issues surrounding divorce can be extremely complex, and you will need somebody who is able to sort out these problems for you. If the divorce is bitter and communication with your spouse usually descends into arguing, then this would be better handled by your respective lawyers, meaning that the two of you will no longer have to speak face to face. This may mean that the settlement can be arranged without needing to go to litigation, which is a better option for everyone. However, if the case does come before a judge, an experienced lawyer will be able to put forward your case much more effectively than you would be able to do, leading to a much better result.
- Finally, take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Divorce can be stressful, and if you need to seek out counseling, there is no shame in doing this. Find friends that you can confide in, but ensure that they will not be reporting back to your spouse.