January is a hot time for divorce filings. It seems with the end of the holidays come the end of a lot of marriages. If you’re one of the people who’ve decided to ring in the new-year with a divorce, here are some things to consider before filing, or even bringing up the “divorce conversation.”
Compile All Key Documents
Once a divorce is initiated, for whatever reason, it can be difficult to get access to important financial documents. These documents include: bank statements, prenuptial agreements, and tax returns. Getting all of this compiled can be a difficult and time –consuming process, but will save you stress and money should you have to go to divorce court. Also, getting everything together prior to filing papers will ensure you’re not held captive by your soon-to-be ex-spouse who might not be as quick to provide this information.
Have Some Money on Hand
In an ideal situation you’ll have a year’s worth of basic living expenses stashed away before you file. If this isn’t possible because your money is co-mingled, open a credit card that has a low introductory 0% interest rate. Divorce proceedings can take six months or longer, and if you decide to work with an attorney or financial advisor you’ll need to be able to pay the initial retainer. If you earn significantly less than your spouse you might want to petition to have your spouse pay ongoing legal fees.
Remove Spouse from Credit
If your spouse is an authorized user on your cards you should ask the issuer to remove his or her name. If you are joint users it might be best to freeze the cards. You might need to do this right before you bring up divorce to your spouse in order to avoid that awkward situation where their card doesn’t work.
For advice on divorce, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.
Source: Time, The 3 Most Important Things to Do Before Announcing You Want a Divorce, January 13, 2015