If you are separated and preparing for divorce, there are certain things you should always do. These tasks are particularly important for men, who are often the higher income earners and are more likely to pay child support and alimony. If you are facing a divorce, here are five things that experts say you should do immediately:
- Separate your accounts. There are many stories of men who have kept their spouses on their bank accounts for some time after the separation only to find that their wives have drained their accounts. If this happens, the chances are slim that you will be able to get that money back any time soon. It is too important for you to have access to your income, particularly if you are looking for a new place to live, to risk this type of problem. As soon as you separate, create a new checking account and transfer any direct deposits to this account immediately.
- Change your locks. If your ex moves out and has signed the property over to you, change the locks. This may seem harsh until you consider that your former spouse can not only enter your home at will but can also allow anyone else on the property whom she chooses if she still has a key. You cannot legally lock your wife out of the house while she is still on the deed, but once she signs a quitclaim to the property, change the locks immediately.
- Gather copies of your children’s records. You have a right to your children’s medical records, school records and other important information. Begin a file with a copy of each child’s birth certificate, Social Security number and other important information immediately. Notify all school officials and medical personnel that you are to be given a copy of any records pertaining to your child.
- Change your insurance policies. It is likely that your wife is a beneficiary on any insurance policies you may have. While you cannot cancel her health coverage until you sign an agreement, you can immediately change her as beneficiary from your life insurance and retirement accounts, and should do so. List your parents, a sibling or your adult child as beneficiary in trust for your minor children.
- Change your passwords. In today’s world, online presence is important. Change your email and other passwords immediately when you move out to prevent your ex from sifting through your online information.
If you are facing a divorce, the attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to help. Contact them today for a consultation.