Five Initial Steps to Take If Contemplating Divorce
Making the decision to get a divorce is often a gradual process. While there can be situations in which a divorce happens suddenly and without much advance warning, it is not uncommon to contemplate ending your marriage or to go through numerous separations over a period of months or even years before making it official. Before actually filing for divorce, there are important steps you can take to make the process go a little more smoothly.
Steps to Take Prior To Announcing Your Intent To Get A Divorce
Getting your affairs in order before announcing your intent to seek a divorce from your spouse can protect your rights and interest, while helping you to prepare emotionally and financially for any fall out. When contemplating a divorce, the following are five important steps you can take:
Establish Your Own Credit and Bank Accounts
If all of your credit cards and bank accounts are tied up jointly with your spouse, consider opening up new accounts in your own name. Experian recommends starting small, such as with a credit card from a local department store, and making steady payments for at least six months before attempting to add more credit. You can also consider getting a secured credit card, which is preloaded with funds. Open a basic bank savings and checking account in your name, and make your individual credit card payments from this account.
Make A List of Your Assets and Liabilities
Go through the bills you and your spouse have, and make a list of all debts and liabilities that are either jointly or individually owned, such as your mortgage, car payments, and other debt. Make another list of all jointly or separately owned assets you have, such as savings or money market accounts, life insurance, and retirement or pension benefits.
Make An Inventory of Personal and Marital Property
Go through your belongings and make a list of what you own, such as homes, cars, boats, furniture and other household items, including jewelry and other collectibles. Make note of how and when these items were purchased or whether they were given as gifts, and note whether you got each item before or after your marriage. Under Section 61.075 of the Florida State Statutes, any property owned jointly and purchased during the course of your marriage is subject to the laws of equitable distribution.
Make Plans on Where and How You Will Live
Consider your current lifestyle and how you will support yourself post-divorce. Do you want to remain in your marital home or a similarly sized property, or will you need to downgrade to something more economical in order to get back on your feet financially? Is your income enough to support living solo, or will need to pick up an extra job or get additional job training? While making the necessary changes may seem daunting, having a clear plan in place will increase your confidence while giving you some peace of mind.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are considering a divorce or separation, contact our experienced Florida divorce attorney today. At the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we act as a strong legal advocate, advising you on Florida divorce processes and procedures, while helping to ensure your rights are protected.