Contemplating Divorce? Here Are 4 Steps You Should Take Before You File

5 March 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Divorce is never easy. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult things you will ever go through. However, if you've reached a point in your life where you realize that divorce is inevitable, there are some steps you can take to make the process a little easier.

Work On Your Own Credit

Most married couples have all or most of their credit tied up in joint accounts. Unfortunately, that can destroy your chances of obtaining your own credit should you end up divorced or widowed. If you know that you're heading towards divorce, take out a credit card in your own name. This will help you establish your own credit rating. If you already have credit in your own name, clean up any negative blemishes before filing for divorce.

Obtain Job Skills

If you've been a stay-at-home mom or dad, you might not have job skills that will transfer into the real world. Taking on a part-time job will help you develop skills that will allow you to support yourself once you divorce. If your education is lacking, enroll in a community college. Not only will you advance your education, you'll also meet people who will be able to help you in your job search. This is particularly important if you don't have your own personal references.

Develop Your Own Network

People who've been married for a significant amount of time often find that their friends and acquaintances are shared with their spouse. You're going to need your own network of friends. Consider joining a few groups that do not include your spouse. This will allow you to develop a network of people who can help you navigate your life once you're newly single.

Take An Inventory Of Your Assets and Debts

All too often, one spouse is left out of the loop when it comes to assets and debts. This can come back to haunt you during the settlement portion of your divorce. Before you file for divorce, take the time to inventory all of your assets and debts. Here are some things you should document.

Estimated Value of Personal Property

Each item you own will have a cash value. Document the estimated value of each item. Once you know the estimated value of your assets, your attorney will be able to use that value to determine how much you should obtain in the divorce settlement.

Estimated Value of Accounts

When considering your assets, don't forget to document your bank accounts, real estate holdings and stocks. In addition to knowing the value of those items, you should also obtain copies of account documents for them.

Estimated Cost of Debt

In addition to documenting your assets, you'll also need to know the estimated cost of your debt. Make copies of all the bills that come into the home. This will ensure that you don't get stuck paying for debt that you didn't know about.

If you're contemplating divorce, take the time to prepare before you file. Being prepared can alleviate some of the stress that's often associated with divorce. Following these simple steps can help you establish your own credit and obtain employment once you file for divorce. For more information, speak with an attorney like Mira Staggers White.