If you believe you will be filing or signing divorce papers in the not-too-distant future, you may be experiencing a sense of apprehension. After all, marriage is as much a legal relationship as it is a personal one. If your finances are commingled with your spouse's, you may be wondering what proactive things you can do to prepare to stand on your own financially.
- Set up your own bank accounts. As part of the divorce process, you will have to extricate your funds from your spouses. If you have joint accounts, this can get very complicated and even contentious. Opening your own accounts and moving your money into those accounts is an important step in protecting your interests.
- Get a credit report. These changes will likely mean you will need credit to pay for some of your new necessities. You also want to keep tabs on any joint lines of credit you share with your spouse before closing those out.
- Pull together all the documentation that pertains to your personal finances. This includes such items as investment reports, annual credit card reports and tax returns. You also want to place these documents in a secure location.
Finally, you may benefit by seeking assistance from such professionals as a financial planner and a therapist or counselor. You may also want to contact a family law attorney who can act as both your guide and legal representative as you move on to the next stage of your life.