If you are considering a divorce, you are likely experiencing a very emotional time in your life. Unfortunately, during such times, your emotions can make thinking clearly difficult, if not impossible. However, divorce is a very serious time, so one misstep can potentially have long-term effects on your life.
Regardless of whether you have been contemplating divorce for a while or were recently served with divorce papers, it is important to act calmly and rationally. The following are some steps you can take to put your best foot forward during this difficult time:
1. Make copies of important documents. You will need to provide accurate information regarding your family’s finances in order to ensure that assets and debts are divided equitably during the divorce. To help facilitate this, make copies of all important financial documents, such as mortgages, insurance policies, retirement account statements, tax returns, credit card statements, and bank account statements. If your spouse owns a business, try to get as much financial information about the assets and debts of the enterprise as you can.
2. Secure your finances. If you share credit cards, bank accounts, or other financial accounts with your spouse, remove your name from the accounts as soon as possible. This will ensure that you are not unfairly stuck with damaged credit or debts run up by your spouse. Since you will soon not be able to rely upon your spouse’s credit history, it is important to take action if your own credit record is not in good shape. A good way to do this is to get a credit card in your own name and pay off the balance each month. Doing so will prove your creditworthiness and cause you credit score to increase.
3. Don’t neglect your children. A divorce is an unstable time that is especially rough on your children. As a result, it is important to ensure that your children’s routines are left intact as much as possible. If you constantly fight with your spouse when around the children, make a schedule when you can see them without your spouse present. When you are with your children, refrain from disparaging or badmouthing your spouse.
4. Keep an open mind. Although divorce can bring out feelings of anger and hurt, do not let these feelings control your attitude towards the divorce itself. If you are able to work along with your spouse, you can minimize the stress, time, money and worry in the divorce by participating in divorce mediation or collaborative divorce, rather than traditional divorce litigation.
Although it is not a high point, a divorce is a major life event. As a result, it needs to be approached with a cool and rational head. The experienced family law attorneys at Family Legal Center, LLC can protect your best interests and help you move on to the next stage of your life as efficiently as possible.