While it is never pleasant to think about your impending divorce, there are some things that you absolutely need to do in order to prepare for the upcoming ordeal. Regardless of why your marriage has broken down, there are now steps that you must take in order to protect your assets and be able to reach a divorce settlement that is satisfactory for both you and your soon to be ex spouse. Unfortunately, if you are not fully prepared, then you may end up losing considerably more than you thought.
Do you have children? If you do, then this will be one of the major issues that you will need to deal with during the divorce. If you are looking to maintain custody of the children, then you will need to be able to prove that you are a good father, which seems unfair because the mother does not need to do the same. Make sure you are spending time with the kids, and keep a record of this. Take an interest in their education, even if you didn’t do this before. Attending school events will look good to a judge, and you will also have witnesses who can testify that you are being responsible and caring. Also, make your wishes clear to your lawyer if you are petitioning for custody.
Keep a copy of every financial document relating to your own accounts, and also any that are held jointly. This should include savings accounts, pensions, investments, credit card and bank statements, along with mortgage documents, if you have bought a house together. Your lawyer will need these documents in order to get the best possible settlement for you.
Use your own accounts for your salary as soon as you have agreed to divorce. If you don’t have a bank account that is in your name alone, then you need to open one, and ensure that all of your income goes into this from now on. This means that your spouse will not have access to the money and will not automatically be able to claim half of it, which she would if you were using a joint account.
Try to avoid conflict with your spouse. Divorce is difficult enough without arguing about every little thing. Remember that you loved each other enough to get married, and fighting will not help either of you to move on. If you are unable to discuss the issues calmly and logically, then you should leave all of the communication to your lawyers instead.
Divorce will be much easier to deal with if you are prepared, so get yourself a good lawyer at an early stage of the proceedings, and follow the advice that he or she gives you. An experienced divorce lawyer will most likely be expensive, but will also be able to give you the most appropriate advice and prevent you from losing even more of your assets in the settlement, so it is a worthwhile investment.