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Critical steps to take before seeking divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | Divorce

You have made up your mind. You want out of your marriage. This fork in the road includes diverging interests, separate bedrooms and the evaporation of kindness.

With some uncertainty, you may wonder what you should do. But there are some important preliminary steps that you must take as you set on your path toward independence.

Contact an attorney, gather financial documents

Divorce may be uncharted territory for you. But like any new challenge that surfaces, you must face it, grapple with it and find a resolution. Here are specific steps to consider before seeking a divorce:

  • Contact an attorney, personal financial planner and a therapist: These professionals will provide the initial guidance and insight in your quest to gain a separate and independent life. An attorney will explain your legal options. A financial planner will help you understand your financial status and ways to improve it. Finally, a therapist will listen and provide advice and support that may potentially help you.
  • Gather together important financial documents: Start with your tax returns, whether you filed jointly or separately. Mortgage statements, bank and credit card records and information about your retirement accounts are crucial, too. These documents will provide you and your attorney with a better understanding of your financial standing and what you may expect in the divorce settlement.
  • Open up new accounts in your name: While married, you likely held joint banking and credit card accounts. You need a clean break from this and must set up accounts that will establish your identity.
  • Examine your credit report: Contact the big three nationwide companies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — that provide credit reports. Look for errors, red flags and questionable activities – some of which may have been committed by your spouse.
  • Get your own credit card: Apply now to establish credit in your own name.

Remember, these steps represent just the beginning. You will face more and tougher challenges in your effort to reclaim your life as a single person.

Leading toward an optimistic future

Rely on good judgment when taking these preliminary steps toward divorce. Remember, this merely marks the beginning of a process that, ideally, will lead to a more optimistic future.