If you have been thinking about divorce but haven’t yet filed the paperwork or informed your spouse, a number of things may be holding you back. Many of us don’t know what the “right” time will be; we just know that right now is not it.
Maybe you’re trying to plan around family get-togethers or when your children are out of school. Whatever you ultimately decide about personal considerations, you shouldn’t initiate a divorce until you have taken care of important financial and legal matters.
One of the first things you should do is to set up bank and credit card accounts in your name only, and to do so at a bank or financial institution other than the one you use for your joint accounts. This will help you separate financially from your spouse as soon as the divorce process begins. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your personal credit score during this time. Next, start saving money in these new accounts, if possible. These funds will give you a valuable head start on hiring a family law attorney, a financial analyst and other professionals that will be part of your divorce team.
Before hiring your team and filing for divorce, you should make sure that your financial paperwork is gathered and in order. This paperwork includes tax returns, income and benefits information, retirement plan information and estate planning documents, just to name a few. Gathering this paperwork yourself may speed up the divorce process and could save you money because your attorney won’t have to track down these documents.
Once these divorce preparations are in order, you may still have personal reasons to wait for the “right time” to file. But at the very least, you can be confident that when the time comes, you’ll be ready.
Source: Forbes, “(Soon-to-be) Divorcing Women: What Are You Waiting For? Here’s How To Prepare To File,” Jeff Landers, June 26, 2014