It’s no secret that divorces can turn ugly-fast. Even if you had a mostly blissful marriage before things went wrong, a divorce can be a nightmare. You may never imagine that your soon-to-be ex would betray you, but many women are often blindsided by how their partner can seemingly change overnight when either spouse files for divorce.
Be proactive about protecting yourself before filling for divorce. Start by seeing a divorce lawyer to get answers to questions so many have when divorce is on the horizon. The following steps will also protect you prior to separating or filing for dissolution of marriage:
If your reasons for divorcing your spouse include abuse to you or your children, document everything as fully as possible. Start a notebook for the sole purpose of recording every incident with your spouse that concerns you. If a spouse has left a mark on you, photograph it and write a record of the incident. You should also document any threats and file a police report as needed. If the threat is a verbal threat to your face, record the date, time, and location. Do the same for voicemails, and save the actual voicemails when possible. The more details you record, the better you can protect yourself.
If you fear that you or your kids may be in immediate danger, leave right away.
Update Your Professional Contacts
Women who have chosen to stay home from work while raising children may feel out of the loop career-wise. If you have put your career on hold to take care of your kids, try to reconnect professionally to those you know in your field before you file for divorce. With social media, it is easier than ever to reach out to old co-workers who will likely be delighted to hear from you.
One’s financial health typically takes a hit during a divorce, so exploring your options is key. If you are already working full-time, you may also want to take classes at a local college or trade school to learn new job skills that give you an edge. After all, an advance in your career to make up lost income may be necessary, and any opportunity to network in the professional world is always positive.
Know Your Marital Finances
Study your finances inside and out before you file for divorce. You’ve probably heard the horror stories of a partner emptying bank accounts, leaving the other spouse penniless and unable to recover the lost money. The laws that protect assets vary from state to state, and it’s best to know as much about where you stand financially as possible.
Evaluate Your Personal Credit Closely
Get a copy of your credit report when you first consider divorce. Knowing your credit score is important. If you and your spouse share debts, your spouse’s spending habits and financial health may impact your credit beyond final dissolution. You need to know how your credit report changes before, during, and after divorce.
Prior to filing, have at least one credit card in your name alone. This will protect you from your spouse unexpectedly cutting you off financially. A credit card in only your name can also help increase your credit score.
If you are considering divorce, or worried that your spouse may be on the verge of asking for one, see a divorce lawyer as soon as possible. A good lawyer will protect your best interests and help you move forward with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are making the best decisions for you and your family.