What to do before filing for divorce

Divorce is a common legal issue married couples of all ages may have to face. An article in the Miami Herald  states that the divorce rate for American citizens over the age of 50 has nearly doubled since 1990. 

When the end of a marriage seems imminent, it is tempting for one spouse to simply pull the trigger and file for divorce. However, it can be more prudent to wait a little bit to ensure all affairs are in order. Taking plenty of time to plan the divorce out can help greatly going forward. 

Gather financial records

People need to know everything about their finances before pursuing a divorce. This includes bank statements, proof of income and joint financial accounts. Spouses considering divorce should bring these documents to their first consultation with an attorney. 

Create a budget

Going through a divorce is costly. There are numerous expenses most people do not take into consideration. For example, the spouses need to decide living arrangements. That means one spouse needs to find other living arrangements for the time being. People often need to cut superfluous expenses. 

Close any joint accounts

When two spouses share a credit card together, they need to cancel it immediately. This is in both people's best interests. In addition to all the extra expenses, the last thing a person divorcing should go through is wondering if the former spouse is going on shopping sprees. 

Have a support network ready

Before filing for divorce, it is advantageous to know who is in the support network. This can include friends, family members and coworkers the divorcee is close with and wants to talk to. They can offer insight into the divorce process. They can also be shoulders to cry on in times of emotional distress. Furthermore, seeing a therapist may be helpful in working through the emotions, challenges and life changes that come with divorce.

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