Eight Important Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce or Separation
People often rush to moving out for filing for divorce without thinking it completely through. Here’s Eight Important Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce/Separation or Moving Out.
1. If possible, remain in the marital residence for as long as possible. In most cases, both spouses have equal rights to the home until the issue has been ruled on by a judge. It’s easier to keep that which you have always had rather than fighting for a home you haven’t lived in for months. If you have kids, this is a good strategy as well since you don't want to have to move the kids out of their home or be the "noncustodial parent".
2. Gather your important documents like birth certificate, social security card, passport, diplomas, transcripts, banking and financial documents, and remove these documents from the marital residence. Don’t store them in your vehicle or even your workplace.
3. Make copies of these documents to include making copies of your bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements, monthly bills, etc.
4. Protect your privacy. Change the passwords for your email accounts, Facebook and other social media, bank account, phone etc. Get a new postal address from the post office and fill out the change of address card.
5. Get a new cell phone and begin using it and not the phone your spouse knows about.
6. Review your life, health, and auto insurance policies. You will likely need to get new policies.
7. Stash some cash and set a realistic budget. You cannot depend upon getting any money from your spouse despite what you’ve heard about “interim division” or “spousal support”.
8. Consult an attorney who focuses on family law.