It's never easy to realize that a relationship is coming to an end, especially when it's a relationship you thought would last forever. Perhaps you've known that this divorce was coming for a long time, or perhaps you were completely surprised when your spouse's divorce lawyers showed up with a notice of a petition for divorce. Either way, it's completely understandable for you to feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster right now. Even though you might feel anger, sorrow, or fear about what this divorce means for your future, it's important to take some immediate steps to assess and protect your finances.
GET YOUR DOCUMENTS IN ORDER
It's extremely important to be able to provide an accurate snapshot of your family's financial situation exactly as it is at the moment a divorce begins. Immediately make copies of the most recent bank statements, brokerage statements, bills (including utilities, car loans, and utilities). These documents can be quite difficult to come by later in the divorce, especially if things get nasty. Securing them now will save time and money, and avoid he-said, she-said situations.
GET A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT
While you're busy taking a snapshot of your shared financial situation, it's also necessary to determine the state of your personal credit. Get a free copy of your report through the traditional agencies, like Experian and TransUnion. You should also get a copy of your current credit score, which can be attained through websites Credit Karma. This will allow you to see how your credit has fared throughout your marriage, as well as if there are any outstanding items to dispute. Your credit will become much more important now that you'll be on your own, and you want to make sure you know what you're dealing with.
GET YOUR OWN BANK ACCOUNTS
Even if you have no reason to suspect your spouse of unfair practices, it's a good idea to establish your own bank accounts right away, especially if you're currently employed and earning money. Immediately transfer the deposit of your paychecks into this account, rather than any that are shared by your spouse.This protects the money that you'll need to care for yourself and your children during the divorce, and begins the tough process of permanent financial separation.
GET A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER
The final step of getting financial prepare for divorce is to secure the services of a trusted divorce lawyer. Too often we've seen people fooled into thinking a divorce will be fair and amicable, only to have complicated problems arise several months down the road. Protect your rights and your future by hiring divorce lawyers who understand the system, as well as your ultimate goal for post-divorce life.
Cummings Law Firm is a top-rated divorce lawyer in the Waterbury area. We're well versed in family law and child custody disputes. We've helped many women navigate the complicated and emotionally-charged process of marriage termination. You don't have to go it alone. Contact us for a consultation about your case today.