If you have made the decision to divorce, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the uncertainty of your future. Since so much hinges on a successful outcome of your divorce settlement or court ruling, you may not quite know how to envision your post-divorce life. However, you can take certain steps that may improve the chances that you will achieve your goals for a fair outcome.
The divorce process begins long before your court date or mediation meeting. You can take important steps toward securing a standard of living that is close to the quality of life you experienced during your marriage. It may take some time and effort, but these steps may prove invaluable as you move into your post-divorce life.
Protecting your finances
As soon as the decision to divorce is made, you may have to subdue your emotions and jump into action to protect yourself financially. This means gathering as much information and documentation as possible related to the following areas of your marital life:
- A comprehensive inventory of all of your assets and those of your spouse
- A list of any valuables that you want to exclude from the marital property
- Documentation supporting the value of all of you assets and those of your spouse
- A thorough report on all of your debts and those of your spouse
- A complete accounting of your spouse's income
- Proof of your own income
- Statements from any bank accounts or investments
As you are gathering this information, you will also want to take some important steps to protect your share of the assets and to begin establishing your own separate financial identity. You should first obtain specific advice from an experienced and skilled family law attorney, before paying off and closing any joint credit accounts, freezing credit accounts you cannot pay off, opening your own checking or savings account, and moving half of your joint funds to your separate account.
It will be important to avoid the appearance of hiding assets and to keep a careful accounting of the money you spend. You may even wish to begin building an individual credit history by opening a credit card in your own name.
You don't have to fight alone
As early as possible in the process, you would be wise to obtain the advocacy of a skilled and aggressive Indiana attorney. You will likely have many questions, such as whether to remain in your home and how you can advance your cause for child custody. By finding an experienced attorney who understands your goals, you have a better chance of reaching a settlement or court order that will offer hope for the future.