Although a relatively high percentage of marriages end in divorce, it is possible that you have little or no experience in how the divorce process works. You may be unsure of how to prepare to maximize your chances of an outcome that allows you to maintain a standard of living as close as possible to what you enjoyed during your marriage.
Your divorce is not something you want to leave to chance. As emotional as you may feel, it is important that you take the time to make rational decisions and to be proactive in your preparations. Every step you take in the weeks and months leading to your hearing or settlement meetings may improve your chances of obtaining the outcome you deserve.
Moving forward with confidence
Whether your divorce will go through litigation or alternative dispute resolution, your attorney can better assist you with a picture of your financial situation that is as complete as possible. For this reason, it is wise to take the following steps quickly after deciding to divorce:
- Close or freeze all joint credit accounts to prevent your spouse from adding more debt to them.
- Keep track of all open accounts and make sure they receive payments each month.
- Obtain copies of all joint bank accounts and investments.
- Open an individual bank account in your name and consult with your attorney about moving half of the money from your joint account into the separate account.
- Open a new credit card account in your name to begin establishing your own credit history. Use the card frugally and pay it off each month.
- Gather documentation of your income and your spouse’s income. You may be able to do this with pay stubs or tax forms.
- Make a comprehensive inventory of all marital and individual assets, and gather any information that verifies the value of the assets. Photographs can be helpful.
- Unless you are in danger, do not move out of your home. If you move out, protect your interest in the property by continuing to pay your share of the expenses.
- Prepare a budget based on your new financial situation.
For assistance with these and other aspects of preparing for your divorce, it is wise to find a skilled attorney as early as possible in the process. You may benefit from securing the services of an experienced, Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Midland County, Ector County, and surrounding areas of Texas who can advise you of your rights and guide you in making decisions that will have the most positive impact on your future.