If you have decided that your marriage is unsalvageable and you've made the decision to get a divorce, chances are you are in a very chaotic and emotional period of your life. Understandably, it can be difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions. However, if you're filing for divorce, it is essential that you make the best decisions possible, as the choices you make could impact you for a lifetime. Here are four things you should do when filing for divorce to protect yourself, your children, and your financial assets.
Make copies of important documents
One thing you should do is make multiple copies of all of your important documents. You need these documents as a source of accurate financial information to make sure your property is divided fairly between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Be sure to search through your entire house and make copies of bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, investment account statements, mortgages, credit card statements, and life insurance policies. If your spouse is self-employed or owns a business, you should get financial information about the business as well.
Take sole control of your finances
The next order of business is taking sole control of your finances. For example, if you have a bank account, credit card, or other financial account held jointly with your spouse, you should remove your name from these accounts. That way, you won't be held responsible for bills or damaged credit incurred by your spouse. If you have a bad or non-existent credit history, you should get a credit card held only in your name to start building good credit.
Consider the well-being of your kids
During a divorce, it is vital that you put the well-being of your kids above all else. Undoubtedly, a divorce can be very difficult for children to endure. Therefore, you want to ensure the schedules of your children remain largely unchanged to help them cope with the new changes coming their way. If you don't want to be in the presence of your spouse at all, you can create a schedule where both spouses can be with the children separately. Resist the temptation to badmouth your spouse to your children. The last thing you want is to force your children to take sides.
Keep an open mind
Emotions tend to run high during divorces, but it is important to keep an open mind. Don't let your feelings dictate how you approach the divorce process. Work with your spouse as much as possible to save yourself stress, money, worry, and time.
During a divorce, emotions make it very easy to make mistakes with major consequences. In order to ensure that your interests are protected during your divorce, it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney.