5 Things To Do Before You File For Divorce

Are you considering a divorce and haven't formally told your spouse yet? You'll want to do these things before you file the paperwork. 

Get Your Own Financial Accounts

If you currently have your finances combined with your spouse, you will need to take some steps to separate them. This includes getting your own bank account that is just in your name and switching all of your direct deposits from work over to your account. You should also get your own credit card in your name that you have control over. Having control over your finances is critical since many people don't file for divorce because they don't even have access to the money they need to be on their own. 

Get The Documents You Need

It's possible that your spouse will become combative and difficult to work with after you ask for a divorce. That's why you will want to gather all of the documents you need from your home while they do not know what is happening yet. This includes things like bank account statements, retirement account statements, and things of that nature. While you shouldn't be hiding these documents from your spouse, it will help to simply have your own copy of them before documents go missing.

Change Your Passwords

You will want to separate yourself from your spouse when it comes to your accounts. The last thing you want is for your spouse to be snooping through your email and trying to find conversations with your divorce lawyer or things that you've talked about. You'll need to change all of your passwords to ensure that they don't have access to your computer, phone, email, and anything else that could be considered important and private to you. 

Create A Budget

Start thinking about what life on your own is going to be like when you are living on your own income. This means creating a budget to see how it is all going to work in the short term and long term. Will you be receiving spousal and child support or providing it? This can have a big impact on what your budget will be as well, so factor in what these will potentially be as well.

Meet With A Divorce Lawyer

You'll also want to consider meeting with a divorce lawyer prior to asking your spouse for a divorce. This can help you in a couple of ways. Not only will you have a lawyer help guide you through the legal process of starting the divorce, but you will essentially get your pick of what divorce lawyer you want to work with. Be aware that any divorce lawyer you meet with will not work for your spouse, since there is a conflict of interest there by them knowing all about your case.