A divorce can be a messy complicated time, especially if you have children involved when you separate. Here is a quick checklist of things you should do prior to filing for divorce to ensure you protect yourself.
Separate Yourself Financially
A common mistake that most recently separated couples make is to leave their bank accounts joined together. If you share a joint account or credit cards make sure to close out the accounts, before your former spouse has a chance to charge things to the card without you knowledge. Any charges that do come in on a credit card or money that is borrowed through a joint account will be up to you to pay back. If there is an outstanding balance or money owed on the account you might want to try and sit down with your former spouse to come up with funds to pay off the remaining amount owing, even if it means taking out additional loans. Once the accounts are completely closed start a fresh bank account in your name that only you have access to and make sure that any direct deposit payments are transferred to the new account.
Don't Talk About Your Separation On Social Media
Anything that your former spouse can use against you in the impending divorce case is fair game as long as a judge permits it in a court of law. Make sure that you are not publicly slandering your former spouse on a public forum like social media, as the post could be used against you at a later time. On public forums you never know who is watching and it is best to only discuss the details of the case with your lawyer in a private setting. The person you think is your friend may also be friends with your former spouse and may tip them off on your rants on the internet if they feel you are being spiteful. Do not air your dirty laundry on the internet for others to read, as it has the potential to harm you in a custody battle or divorce proceedings.
Budget For Post-Divorce
One of the first things you need to do once you have separated is to sit down and get an understanding of where you stand financially. Take an overview of exactly how much money you have coming in every month and then calculate your living expenses to find out how much you have left over every month. Do not factor in child support as income, as you do not know how much the courts will order your former spouse to pay and you should never have to depend on that amount of money to be able to survive on your own. If you know you will have to pay child support payments then factor that in with the help of a family law attorney by using the amount of annual income you have along with the number of kids. Start budgeting for child support immediately even if you are not legally required to pay, and save that money in a separate account in case you are required to pay support from the time you separate.
The best thing you can do when filing for divorce is to sit down with a lawyer, like Cronk & Waterman PLC, that works in family law to go over the best plan for your specific scenario.Share