You may know that divorce is right for you, but don’t rush into it. It can be tempting to move quickly to get it all over with, but the reality is that there are a few important steps you should take before you even file for the divorce. These include:
Understanding Your Own Financial Situation
You need to take stock of both assets and debts. When you and your partner split up, what are you still going to bring in every month? Is it enough to pay the bills? Money should not keep you in a bad relationship, but accurately understanding the financial picture can help you plan in advance so that you’re not taken by surprise and can take over your lifestyle independently from your spouse. At this time, it may also be helpful to set up a new budget.
With Income, Get Proof
Arguments over who makes how much are common during divorce, especially when looking at alimony or child support. Get proof of what you earn and what your spouse earns. You can find this in pay stubs or tax documents.
Split Up Your Accounts
You don’t want to keep sharing a bank account or a credit card with your spouse as you go through this process. Get cards in your own name and cancel the ones that you have. Open your own bank account and, if you are paid with direct deposit, change your information at work so that the money goes to the right account. You may also want to get rid of jointly-owned assets, like homes or cars. Chicago divorce lawyers, Conniff Law Offices suggest when you are considering whether to keep your home, it is important to first ensure you are financially responsible without the income of the other person.
Consider Your Children
Adults often think of divorce as something that impacts them, but the impact on the children is just as great. Think about how the divorce could change their lives and take steps to make sure they are well taken care of. If you are afraid you’ll lose the house, for example, look into other housing options that will be realistic–both short-term options and long-term options.
Decide Where You’ll Live
Some couples stay together while the divorce process plays out; for others, that’s too stressful, so they split up. This can have a big impact on children, budgets and everything else, so make this choice early and begin adjusting to it.
Find a Lawyer
To make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible, don’t take it all on yourself. Find a local divorce lawyer and get a legal team that you can trust.