Psychologists strongly believe that getting a divorce is an emotional choice and a financial decision too. Once an individual has decided to pursue divorce, he or she must immediately take the right steps to keep their legal and financial interests. Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office recommends the following steps if you are considering divorce.
1. Gather records
Though you may have access to the right records, you should gather any documents and anything else that might be essential. This may include proof of income, will, financial statements for accounts, prenuptial agreements, tax returns, identifying documents, and mortgage documents. Remember, these details should be kept far away from your marital home and kept in a safe location.
2. Consult with an attorney
Start the process of understanding what to anticipate by consulting with an experienced attorney before you announce your plans to your spouse. The lawyer can offer you a list of the details that you require and also offer you guidance on how to enter and handle the next stage of your life.
3. Get a post office box
Note that you will require a confidential place to get your private communications with your attorney and other important entities. Therefore, it is recommended to get a new post office box that you don’t share with your partner.
4. Get new financial accounts
It is recommended that you get new financial accounts to keep your finances secure and separate. Your attorney may tell you withdraw 50% of your money in joint accounts but this might also depend on your state laws.
Besides, you require money to pay your attorney and take care of other expenses related to your divorce. Based on your state laws, your new financial account might still be considered a marital property in case you aren’t legally separated or in case your state doesn’t recognize legal separation.
5. Establish credit
In case you haven’t established your own credit because everything was in your partner’s name, it is the time to take the necessary steps to establish or enhance your credit. Begin by pulling your overall credit reports to determine your position and take note of any discrepancies.
Remember, you may have your own legal grounds to object various charges that weren’t part of your marital estate. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor your credit to make sure that your partner doesn’t open new financial accounts to ass to your debt load. Therefore, consider setting up a credit card in your name so that you can begin establishing credit outside your marital relationship.
6. Inventory your estate
With the help of a professional, go through all your real and investment property and identify the items that aren’t part of your marital estate. These are the properties that were acquired before your marriage, were kept separate according to a legal agreement, or received as inheritance or gift. It is also recommended to take time-stamped photographs of all items that are of significant value.