Steps to Take to Prepare for Divorce
- 1). Obtain a lawyer. Unless you already have a lawyer, you will need to find a divorce attorney. It's a good idea to interview different lawyers before you decide on one. The more experience an attorney has the better for you and your case. You want to make sure your attorney is capable to litigate your case before the judge. A good attorney will know the value of settling the divorce quickly, but also be willing to fight on your behalf if needed.
- 2). Gather your financial information. You should make a list of all assets with documents that show the present value, when and where the asset was bought, and if it was purchased with separate or joint funds.
- 3). Determine the amount of your debt. It does not matter if the debt is in your name or your spouse's, all marital debt is split equally. You should call and obtain a copy of your credit report. After you receive your report and determine the amount of your debt, you need to get statements from all open accounts with the balance due listed.
- 4). Obtain documents that show your income and your spouse's income. A salaried employee would need to get a copy of the most recent pay stubs and the most recent income tax return. If you or your spouse are self-employed, a bank account statement and financial business statement will be needed.
- 5). Prepare a budget to live on after the divorce. A person's income can drop drastically after a divorce. To avoid being buried in bills you can't pay, it is a good idea to build a budget in advance.
- 6). Close joint credit accounts. An angry spouse may run up charges that you might be held responsible for later. If you have the money, you can pay off the account. After this is done, get a letter from the creditor stating that the account is paid in full along with a written promise that there will be nothing derogatory filed about the account to the credit agencies. Accounts that you cannot close at the time can be frozen.
- 7). Stay in the marital home unless otherwise ordered. If you move out and your spouse continues to pay the mortgage, the judge may decide to distribute the property to your spouse. If sharing the house becomes too stressful, continue to pay your share of the mortgage after you move out. Keep all payments well-documented.