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Originally Posted On: 6 Things to do Before Filing for Divorce | Verhaeghe Law Office (freedomlaw.ca)
Going through a divorce can be emotionally straining on all parties involved. To help prepare you for this difficult journey, here are seven things you need to do before you file for divorce.
Your Financial Situation
What you own versus what you owe. During an ideal divorce settlement, you and your spouse are trying to equally divide up marital assets and debts. To do that, the two of you need to determine all obvious (house, car, accounts) and non-obvious (possible inheritance, pension plans and so on) assets. Then figure out any and all debts regardless of whose name is on it.
Collect Proof of Income
If you and your spouse are paid through salaries, your last pay statement and recent income tax return is all the proof of income you’ll need. If either of you are self-employed, you’ll need to provide the courts with both bank account and financial business statements so they’ll have a clear understanding of your financial situation.
This is where you start to plan out your life after your divorce has been finalized. Hopefully, by now, you understand what it takes to run a household and keep yourself afloat. Whether you have children or are on your own, it’s important to break down exactly what you’ll be able to afford. Determine what your top priorities will be in your new life while your divorce is still in process.
Establish Self Credit
For your own success, it’s always good to have a credit card in your name, especially when going through a divorce. You can build up a good score that will allow you to easily be approved for a car or home. This would be difficult if you only had a shared credit score that your partner wasn’t as interested in keeping up as you were.
Deal with Joint Accounts
If you fear your spouse may clear out your joint financial accounts out of anger, talk to your lawyer about it. They’ll most likely instruct you to open your own account and deposit half of the funds from your joint accounts. Be open and smart about this choice, as it can come back to bite you if you start spending foolishly.
Don’t forget to close joint credit accounts as well. Do this before the divorce proceeds to prevent an angry spouse from running up your credit card bills. Pay off whatever credit balance you have, or talk to a creditor. If neither of these is possible, freeze the accounts so neither party can access the account until the divorce is final. By then, whoever the court has chosen to deal with debt will be responsible for paying it off.
When going through a divorce, you need to be on your best behaviour, especially if your fighting for custody of your children. Be a good parent, be respectful of your spouse and don’t give their lawyers anything that could ruin your half of the settlement. Work on taking care of yourself physically and emotionally so you and your family can get through this situation.
At Edmonton’s Verhaeghe Law Office, our expert lawyers are dedicated to providing the best advice and service for our clients. If you have a civil, criminal, family or other legal cases, call or visit our website https://freedomlaw.ca/.