Before you file for divorce, there are steps you can take to minimize the financial and emotional impact of your separation and the legal end of your marriage. Here are some tips from the Men’s Legal Center to help you manage your divorce most advantageously.
- Collect all financial information in one location. All savings, checking and other account numbers, all life insurance policy information and copies of all other financial documents should be in one central location to which only you have access.
- Keep a journal. It is hard to remember things that have happened a few months after the event. Write down dates, times and facts so that you have a handy reference for the future. Begin keeping a journal the moment you suspect you may be on the road to divorce.
- Explore marriage counseling. Not every separation ends in divorce. Couples who reconcile often have outside help in the form of counseling, so explore the option of counseling with your spouse to see if there is a way to work out your differences. Even if you ultimately divorce, counseling can help pave the way for a more amicable separation.
- Stay in your home. It may be difficult to stay in your home with your soon-to-be-ex, but moving out can compromise your legal position. Never move out without speaking to an attorney first.
- Keep quiet about the “facts.” If you have had an affair, your first instinct may be to confess. This can become problematic for you if you divorce, however. Talk to an attorney before making any emotional statements or confessions.
- Do not tell your children. The time to tell your children about a divorce is after you and your spouse have agreed to separate, not before. Do not involve your children until you are sure that you have a plan of action.
- Do not take your children anywhere else to live. Unless your children are in physical danger from your spouse, moving them is usually a very bad idea. This can be construed as an attempt to deny your spouse access to the children.
- Do not sell any property or open any large accounts. In general, refrain from making any large financial transactions prior to a divorce.
- Keep a small amount of money handy. You may need access to a small amount of cash or credit, so keep one card in your name only and keep some cash on hand.
- Talk to an attorney. The most important thing you can do prior to a divorce is speak to an attorney who will represent your interests in this process.
The Men’s Legal Center is ready to help you with the legal aspects of your separation and divorce. Call us today for a consultation.