It goes without saying that marriage can be difficult, and divorce can be even more challenging. Before filing for divorce, some couples try a separation period to see if parting ways is the right thing for them, or they do so as a way to reduce tension as they pursue divorce finalization. Either way, it is important that during this delicate time couples consider ways they can make the process more cooperative and less vengeful for everyone involved. Here are tips to think about if you and your spouse are heading towards divorce:
Get a Credit Card in Your Own Name
If you share credit cards with your spouse, it may be a good idea to open one in your own name. This can be helpful as unexpected but necessary costs pop up during the separation and divorce process. Good credit also gives you a solid foundation for a secure independent financial future. Having a credit card that is only in your name can help you feel more empowered and less dependent on your ex spouse, especially if they contributed to more finances during your time together.
Talk About Closing Joint Accounts
If you have a reasonably amicable relationship with your spouse, you may want to talk about closing joint accounts that you have together. You both may be held responsible for debt that accrues during your separation prior to divorce if there is no document that specifies otherwise. The most ideal situation would be if you can both pay off debts and close the accounts as soon as possible.
Write and Sign a Separation Agreement
A separation agreement describes the terms of your separation. This can be a critical step because it protects you both financially until divorce has been finalized. By working with a lawyer, they can help you draft and agree upon a separation contract that covers the following:
- Insurance (health, life, cars, etc.)
- Spousal or child support
- Waiver of inheritance (if you wish to release claims to the other’s property/estate)
- Debt liability accrued during separation
- Division of retirement savings accounts
- Plan for marital asset division, including paying bills and liquidating assets
- Visitation schedule for children
Avoid Posting on Social Media
In today’s world, we use social media as a platform for thoughts and experiences. While this may not necessarily be a bad thing, it is imperative that you are careful about what you share about your separation at this time. The reason for this is because if you bad mouth the other spouse or share sensitive information you shouldn’t have, this may get brought up during your divorce disputes or negotations, and can work against your case.
Those who are considering separating or divorcing their spouse may want to think about the benefits of hiring a lawyer, such as a divorce lawyer in Alameda County, CA from Attorney Bernie as promptly as possible.