What to Do Before You File for Divorce


Are you wondering what to do before you file for divorce? It’s important to know what to do before you start the divorce process. That way, you’ll get through it more smoothly and with minimal stress.

Taking the time to plan your action steps for divorce are one way to ease the process for you and your soon to be ex-spouse. The better you’re prepared, the less stressful it will be for you.

Here are some tips to consider.

Gather Necessary Documentation


Before you file for divorce, it is important to gather the necessary documents that you will need in order to proceed.

Some documents you should consider collecting include financial documents, such as:

  • bank statements
  • investment accounts
  • retirement accounts
  • tax documents
  • pertinent financial information

Additionally, if you and your spouse own real estate, vehicles, or other joint property, make sure to collect the necessary paperwork for each, including the title and appraisals. Additionally, it is important to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate.

These documents will all be needed by the court or your attorney in order to proceed with the divorce. Taking the time to properly document each item and having the correct paperwork on hand will make the process much smoother and less expensive.

Hire a Good Divorce Attorney

Hiring a good divorce attorney is one of the most important steps when you are considering filing for divorce. It’s important to do your research and research different attorneys in your area to ensure that you find one that is well versed and knowledgeable about divorce cases.

Make sure to ask family or friends who have been through the process about their experiences and the lawyers they used. Ensure to schedule consultations with at least several different lawyers to find the right fit before deciding on one.

You want to make sure that the attorney is one with whom you will feel comfortable communicating with. Having a competent divorce attorney is essential for ensuring that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Likewise, it’s important to speak with a professional like this divorce attorney located here regarding all the steps you should take before filing for divorce, such as separating finances, starting to build your credit if necessary, and making sure all your documents are in order.

Organize Your Finances

Organizing your finances before filing for divorce is a critical step in preparing for the process. It will help you understand income, expense, assets, and liabilities, and any potential division of property and financial support that may result from a divorce settlement.

Before beginning the divorce process, you should gather and compile important financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, loan documents, retirement and investment accounts, and loan applications.

Make sure they include your name, your spouse’s name, and any co-borrower or co-signer. Additionally, you will want to track other costs associated with the divorce process such as attorney fees, financial advisors, court fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Doing so will help you accurately chart the financial flow associated with the divorce process and provide an up-to-date financial picture of your current situation. All of this information should be gathered and organized, so it can be easily accessible when decisions need to be made.

Identify Your Personal Property

Divorce cases can be a complicated and emotionally taxing process. Before considering filing for a divorce, it is important to identify your personal property.

This can include everything from physical items such as vehicles and furniture to intangible items such as stocks, intellectual property, and inheritances.

When preparing for divorce, you should create an inventory of all your assets and property in order to ensure that you are not missing anything. You should also make sure to document all the information related to your assets and property, to prove ownership if needed.

Once you have an inventory of your assets and property, you can then take the appropriate steps to protect your assets and ensure that you are not taken advantage of during the divorce process.

This might mean transferring ownership or creating trusts to protect your assets before the divorce process begins. Creating an inventory of your property and assets is an important step to take in order to best protect yourself during the divorce proceedings.

Establish Credit In Your Own Name

Establishing credit in your own name is an important step when considering filing for a divorce. Doing so can prevent a decrease in your credit score, and help build a strong credit history that can be beneficial in the future.

Before filing for a divorce, it is important to open a personal account, such as a bank account or credit card in your name only. You can also apply for an auto loan with your name and contact information to begin building credit.

It is important to open these accounts before the divorce is finalized so that you can prevent your spouse from accessing or using your funds, as well as protecting yourself from potential debt.

Doing research and consulting with friends and family who have sought credit can also be beneficial in determining the right path moving forward. Most importantly, understanding the terms of the credit is essential to avoid any financial repercussions in the future.

Establishing credit in your own name will also give you a sense of financial security and independence that will help you transition out of the marriage.

Gather Proof of Income

Before you file for divorce, it is important to gather proof of the incomes of both spouses. Depending on the state you live in, the courts use each spouse’s income information in order to equitably divide the assets acquired during the marriage and determine alimony and child support.

Copies of recent wage stubs, tax returns, and property records should be obtained by both parties. In addition, if your spouse is self-employed, information regarding profits, losses, and expenses should be gathered.

It is also important to collect proof of any other income sources, such as disability, pensions, or investments. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a forensic accountant in order to accurately calculate each party’s income.

Gathering proof of income is an important step to take before filing for divorce.

Evaluate Joint Financial Accounts

Evaluating joint financial accounts is an important step before filing for divorce. Firstly, it is important to make sure that all financial information is up-to-date and accurate.

The accounts should be reviewed for any debts, assets or liabilities that may have been accrued in the marriage. This will help divorce proceedings move along more quickly.

Secondly, it is important to separate any joint funds and assets into separate accounts or investments, and to fully disclose them to the other spouse or an appropriate party.

It is also prudent to determine the ownership and responsibilities for the accounts prior to filing for divorce. Lastly, it’s important to understand and abide by any relevant laws regarding the division of financial assets. Taking these actions will set a clear foundation for fair and equitable financial proceedings during the divorce process.

Close All Joint Credit Accounts

Before you file for divorce, it is important to close all joint credit accounts. This means that any credit cards, lines of credit or loans that are jointly owned should be paid off and closed.

When closing a joint account, make sure to get written confirmation from the creditor that the account has been closed and that both parties are released from any liability.

Closing joint credit accounts before the divorce helps avoid confusion or prolonged disputes. Without any joint credit accounts, it is easier for the two parties to separate their finances and move forward with the divorce process.

Additionally, closing joint credit accounts is the first step towards rebuilding credit after a divorce.

Set Your Post-Divorce Budget

Before filing for divorce, it is essential to set up a post-divorce budget to ensure a secure and successful financial future. One of the first steps you should take is to gather all of your financial records and analyze your current income, expenses, and assets.

This will give you a better understanding of your financial capabilities after the divorce. You should also consider your post-divorce needs, such as housing, childcare, legal expenses, and other living expenses.

Make sure to include any potential changes to your insurance coverage and any new debts that you may incur. Once you have a clear picture of your post-divorce budget, you can create a budget plan and save money in areas that you’ll need it most. This will help to ensure that you are financially secure and well-prepared for your post-divorce life.

Learn What to Do Before You File for Divorce

To file for divorce is often complex and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking care of the important items – seeking advice, creating an inventory, and taking care of legal documents – you can ensure that the process is far less of a burden.

Arm yourself with knowledge, be prepared, and don’t forget to take an inventory of yourself, both financially and emotionally. It’s time to move forward. Take action today.