Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
Many couples wait to file for divorce until after the New Year. Even though you won’t be filing for divorce until 2013, there are still several steps you can take to make the divorce process smoother as well as address any potential issues.
Reports show that January is the most common month for couples to file for divorce. Whatever the reason may be for filing divorce, planning considerations should be made before filing for divorce to ensure that 2013 will start our fresh and on track.
For people considering filing for divorce early next year, it is important to take the following steps and considerations now:
- Collect financial documents. Be sure to make copies of bank statements, credit card statements and other financial documents including a financial portfolio. This will save time and stress of collecting all these documents later on after filing for divorce.
- Get a copy of your credit report. It is important to review your credit report for any errors or inaccuracies and make corrections if needed. This is an important step because you will most likely want to get your own credit card and apply for new loans.
- Open bank accounts in your own name. Couples getting divorced should open a new checking and savings account in their own name. It is also important to get a new credit card with only you having access to use it.
- Keep an eye on joint accounts and spending. Before the divorce is finalized or even filed, spouses should be watchful of hidden assets or extra spending by their spouse. Many spouses try to hide assets or rack up credit card debt before the divorce so they have to equally share the costs of paying back the debt.
- Consult a divorce attorney. Spouses thinking about filing for divorce should work with a family law attorney to discuss specific issues and have questions answered. An attorney can advise you what other documents may be necessary and what other issues should be addressed.
Filing for divorce can be a very emotional, complicated process. Understanding what steps should be taken before filing for divorce can address possible concerns and create a plan to your new future.
Source: Forbes, “Five Best Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013,” Jeff Landers, Dec. 18, 2012