How to Prepare for a Divorce
If you're thinking about separating from or divorcing your spouse, here are some practical steps you can take now to ease the transition once the separation occurs:
- Open a checking and savings account in your name only, and transfer money from joint accounts into your own accounts.
- If you don't have credit cards in your own name, now's the time to apply for them and establish your own credit with any service provider you'll need after the separation.
- If you can afford it, establish a relationship with a therapist or counselor you're comfortable with. At a minimum, strengthen your ties with close friends and family, and be honest with them about your marital problems.
- If you don't have your own health insurance, find out whether it's possible to continue coverage through your spouse's insurance until the divorce is final. At a minimum, get needed medical and dental work done while you still have insurance coverage.
- Collect and make extra copies of all financial information (tax returns, business records, bank account records, investment records, deeds, mortgages, employee benefit information, debt records, etc.) while you still have access to it. Put this information in a safe place outside your home.
- Locate and make extra copies of any prenuptial agreements, community property agreements or powers of attorney and put them in a safe place outside your home, such as a safe deposit box in your own name.
- If you're not currently working, update your resume and begin thinking about what type of work you could do. Start the training or retraining you'll need to get yourself back into the workforce as soon as possible.