What To Do Before Getting Divorced
There are some important steps you should take before you get divorced, and before you even file for divorce. First, you should set up a separate bank account. You want to gather joint financial documents and make copies of everything to bring to your lawyer. This includes account records, mortgages, phone bills, car notes, and anything else. It’s also smart to obtain records of all online accounts. Some spouses might make it difficult to access documents if you’ve already filed for divorce, so it’s important to do this preemptively.
Determine Custody For When You’re Divorced
If you have children with your spouse, custody is probably at the front of your mind when getting divorced. Sharing custody is the most likely outcome, so review your work schedule, children’s schedule, and your obligations before determining a custody situation.
If you can come up with an amicable joint custody schedule before you get divorced, you’ll be miles ahead of the game.
Purchases and Selling Before Divorced
Most judges will prohibit spouses from selling, buying, or otherwise disposing of any marital property once your divorce paperwork is filed. Courts do this to prevent spouses from draining the other’s bank account, or dissipating the marital estate. So if you’ve been planning on selling rental property, buying a car, or anything of that nature, you’ll be prevented from doing so.
It’s obviously not appropriate to drain bank accounts prior to filing for divorce (that can come back to haunt you), if you have legitimate sales or purchases that has been in the works, it’s best to complete those transactions before filing.
Don’t Act Like You’re Single
In most jurisdictions, even if your marriage is over prior to being divorced, it’s important not to live with another romantic partner. This is still considered adultery in most states. Additionally, a judge could consider money you’ve spent on a romantic partner as dissipating from the marital estate prior to being divorced, and could order you to reimburse your spouse for those expenditures.
So, in order to figure out your financial goals when divorced, it’s important to have an accurate assets and debts balance sheet. It might be necessary to hire an accountant for this. Include real property, cars, retirement accounts, bank accounts, other assets, mortgages, credit cards, and debts in this balance sheet. Determining your total assets can help you set a budget for how much to spend on an attorney, and will help give you an accurate picture of your financial goals.
Finally, talk to an attorney about joint bank accounts and credit cards for when you’re divorced. You don’t want to be in a situation where your spouse can run up bills in your name or drain your bank accounts. Interview attorneys who are within your budget. Marc Shular has years of experience in these matters, and can help you with a balance sheet, with planning for the future, custody, and all other manner of divorce issues. Call today if you have any questions or concerns regarding your divorce.