10 Things To Do When Considering Divorce
If you have concerns that your marriage may be entering a difficult time or heading towards a divorce, you may want to take steps to protect yourself.
1. Open an individual bank account
Your access to finances during a divorce is critical. When a couple shares a bank account, either party can transfer the entirety of the account at any time. Should the need arise, having your own account gives you a place to immediately begin depositing your paycheck and pay your personal expenses.
2. Open an individual credit card
A divorce is costly. In addition to the costs associated with possibly having to secure new housing, you are no longer benefiting from the support of your spouse, whether financial or familial. You may find that you need to incur debt during the transition.
3. Get a PO Box
Although most correspondence comes electronically, securely receiving mail is important. For instance, your debit or credit card, insurance cards, and certain financial statements will be delivered. You do not want those items to end up in the wrong hands.
4. Change your passwords
Shared computers or other electronic devices are common. Passwords are automatically saved and allow instant access. Be sure you routinely change your passwords.
5. Log out
After you’ve changed your passwords, be sure that you log out of any account from a shared device. You should be able to easily log back in to the account. Going through this process a couple of times will allow you to do it quickly if needed.
6. Copy important documents
Most people have a filing cabinet or drawer where they keep important documents like tax returns, retirement statements, deeds, or a will. You should have copies of these documents safely stored somewhere outside of the home.
7. Inventory your home furnishings
Home furnishings have value. Creating a list of the items in your home is the first step to find the value. List the items by room and take pictures. The photographs will also allow a judge to see the items on your list, should that be needed.
8. Keep a journal
Memories fade. Keeping a journal of events will not only help you recall dates and times, but your journal entries made at the time of the event might be admissible in court. Remember to include names and contact information of any witnesses as part of the entry.
9. Maintain relationships
No one has to know that you are considering a divorce. However, should you find yourself going through the process, you will be glad that you have friends and family for support.
10. Stay calm
A divorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. If you’re considering divorce, you’re most likely experience heightened stress levels. Stay calm. Eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a clean and organized environment. Counseling, therapy, or other medical help may be needed. It’s perfectly acceptable and common to seek help. Your health comes first.
William Falik, Esq is a family law attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida.