A lot of separated couples simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to preparing for their divorce, and for women preparing for divorce, it can be especially complicated given the specific familial dynamics.
A lot of women are blindsided by husbands who simply found someone else, and other times women initiate divorce under their own volition.
No matter how exactly you become involved with a failed marriage it doesn’t negate the fact that the entire divorce process is going to entail a ton of life changes and overall upheaval, which is why many women at first feel overwhelmed.
So where exactly should women begin when it comes to preparing for a divorce?
We’re very fortunate to have partnered up with Florida-based Musca Law to collaborate with us on these six crucial steps that will help you get your legal standing and finances properly prepared for your ensuing divorce.
6 Steps for Women Preparing for Divorce
Take it from the pros who deal with this type of situation all the time the following steps are of the utmost importance in terms of ensuring a smooth transition out of your failed marriage:
1. Take account of all your financial records and official documents
This is the first step for a reason, and it’s because it really is critical that you gather up all your bank account information, credit card bills, ubiquitous financial records, mortgage statements, trusts, wills, etc.
You’ll need to not only gather this information, but also make copies of each key document and store them in a secure place. This could mean keeping these document copies at a family member or friend’s house.
It’s not necessarily the worst thing to keep your husband in on your activities while you’re doing this type of file gathering, but you should safeguard your document copies at all costs so you are ensuring you have every legal documentation necessary.
Start securing money for legal fees
There are a lot of divorce situations in which a husband controls the overall access to a family’s funds, and this can potentially make it really difficult for women to obtain the type of legal team they’ll need to hire for the divorce settlement process.
This type of cutting off of a money supply is a pretty common tactic that many husbands utilize, and it many times leads to women signing divorce settlements that are lopsided out of their favor.
It’s crucial to remain proactive in these situations and ensure that you have the necessary funds that are only available to you to secure adequate legal representation.
3. Open up a new bank account solely in your name
It’s also important that you end up using a different bank than the one where you have joint accounts open, and by going to a different bank and starting a new checking/savings account in your name you’ll put yourself in a better position to remain financially independent of your husband.
Many times divorce attorneys will advise women to withdraw up to half of the amount within the joint funds, (specific state laws will be different in this situation), and then deposit the joint fund money into the new bank accounts.
It’s also crucial to set up a new credit card account in your name, and this will ultimately put you in the right direction towards establishing good credit as a single woman.
4. Obtain a credit report copy
By obtaining a copy of your credit report, and monitoring it, you’ll be able to see what your husband is spending the joint credit card account money on. This will also help you keep tabs on your joint credit score, which is really important in the settlement process.
5. Open a P.O. Box
There’s no doubt about it that you are going to start getting important mail once you’ve started new bank/credit card accounts and established your legal counsel, and you’ll want to ensure this mail remains confidential.
When you open up a post office box you’ll be able to ensure that your mail is going to a location in which only you can access.
6. Change your legal documents like your will, medical directives, etc.
There is a good chance depending on where you live that you’ll not be able to completely disinherit your husband until the finalization of the divorce, but in all cases you can start taking the necessary steps to prevent him from making your medical decisions or inheriting your assets in the case that you die before the divorce settlement is completed. This will also include changing things like the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, etc.
Divorce is an overwhelming process, but when you go through these six steps you will begin to feel the control coming back to your life’s future.
Calvin P. Floyd has over fifteen years of experience in the field of law. He specializes writing articles legal and law related topics on his blog. He is presently working at muscalaw, a reputable presence in the legal issue.