So you’ve decided it’s time to separate from your current spouse but you’re wondering what will happen to all the accounts in your name. What about the mortgage, the checking accounts, the credit cards? What will your credit rating look like when it’s all said and done?
The first thing you should do while filing the papers is to start separating your money. Have an open and frank conversation with your soon to be ex about what you will each be responsible for when things are finally done and be sure to keep it civil. If you need money in the meantime, avoid opening up any more credit cards or ushering in more debt. If it really comes down to the wire, consider using payday loans through providers like Wonga.com with the intention of paying them back quickly.
While you may not want to be the one to make the first move and file first, you should consider the advantages of doing so. Filing first will prevent your spouse from hiding important assets or selling them off to relatives until the divorce is final. As well, you’ll also be sure that you have access to your funds; the last thing you want is a spouse draining your joint checking before you’ve had a chance to work things out.
Attorneys and legal fees are expensive, and while there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop the fees from piling up, it should be something you’re expecting. Set aside money if you have the chance so you’re less likely to resort to drastic measures when the payments come due. Remember you’ll be living on one salary again, so don’t expect to have a large sum lying around.
If you’re not expecting a clean-cut divorce, prepare yourself not to give in. Relationship issues tend to bring out the worst in everyone and if your spouse is trying to take you for all you’ve got, don’t settle for what you’re getting to get it all over with. It might make for a messy legal battle, but you deserve your fair share of the life you’ve made together.
That being said, don’t try to take your spouse for everything they’ve got. While things obviously aren’t peachy between you given the whole divorce thing, you must have at one point (and probably to an extent still do) cared about this person. There’s a lot to be said for taking the high road and truly going for what’s fair for the both of you.
The most important thing to take care of, however, is to separate any assets that you both share. If you’re joint owners on a checking account, set up a new one and start to use that. Don’t continue to use money that’s involved in both of your names, especially credit that can create debt for your significant other. Have a chat and make sure they understand to do the same.
There’s never a perfect way to file for a divorce. But with a little planning and some intense soul-searching, the financial part of your divorce will be the least of your worries.