Even if you and your spouse are working on saving your relationship, it is a smart move to at least consider taking some pre-divorce steps. In the event that your marriage does end, you will already know which steps you need to make the transition easier for yourself and your family. Here are some pre-divorce steps you can take in preparation for divorce.
Create a Budget
When you and your spouse split, so does your combined income. As a result, some of your expenses might be too much to handle on your own. To prepare for the divorce, you need to create a budget that takes solely into account your income and expenses related to taking care of you and any children that you have.
Even if you expect to receive spousal or child support from your spouse, you need to only consider your own income. If your spouse is unwilling to pay any support or it takes time to secure an order to force him or her to do so, you could be left without the income you were counting on to make it.
By knowing upfront what you can and cannot handle without his or her income, you can take steps, such as cutting expenses, to ensure that you are financially capable of caring for yourself and your children.
Build Your Credit
You need to obtain a copy of your credit report and start working on repairing it if you have poor credit. Once you and your spouse divorce, you can only secure credit lines based on your own creditworthiness. If your credit is in bad shape, you could have trouble starting your new life.
Start making payments on any delinquent accounts that you and your spouse have. If you have student loans, consider consolidating those loans into one so that you can make payments easier.
Building credit also means setting up accounts in your own name. For instance, open up a checking and savings account in your name. Once you do, apply for a credit card. Be careful not to max out the card and keep the charges within an affordable range. Take small steps and you can be in a good position to secure credit if you need to once you are divorced.
Consult with a divorce attorney to learn what other steps you can take to prepare for divorcing. The attorney can evaluate you and your spouse’s financial situation and make recommendations that are specific to your particular situation.