If your marriage is irretrievably broken and you are are contemplating getting a divorce, it can be an emotional time when clear thinking is difficult to do. Although it is understandable to feel this way, divorce is a time in your life when it is important to keep your wits about you, as the decisions you make can affect you for the rest of your life.
Whether you have been thinking about getting a divorce for some time or were recently served with divorce papers, here are some tips that you can use to protect yourself, your finances and your children:
1. Copy important documents: Because you will need accurate financial information to ensure that your assets are divided equitably during the divorce, it is important to go through your house and make copies of all important financial documents such as tax returns, retirement account statements, bank statements, life insurance policies, mortgages, credit card statements and investment account statements. If your spouse owns a business or is self-employed, get as much financial information as you can about the business.
2. Take control of your finances: If you hold credit cards, bank accounts or other financial accounts jointly with your spouse, it is important to remove your name from them to ensure that you aren’t stuck with damaged credit or bills run up by your spouse unjustly. If you do not have an established credit history, now is a good time to remedy this by getting a credit card in your own name and paying off the balance in full each month.
3. Put your kids first: Divorce can be a tough time for your children. To help them cope with it, keep the routines of your children as unchanged as possible. If you cannot include your spouse with your children without arguing, create a schedule when each of you can be with your children separately. When you are with your children, do not badmouth of disparage your spouse.
4. Open your mind: Although you may feel upset or hurt, it is not advisable to let these feelings take control of your attitude towards the divorce process. If you and your spouse can work together, it is possible to save yourself (and your children) a great deal of stress, worry, time and money through divorce mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods.
Like virtually every big event in life, divorce requires a clear head and careful planning. Fortunately, you do not have to go at it alone. The experienced family law attorneys at Hardin Law Firm, PLLC can advise you further on how to navigate the legal issues as efficiently as possible.