There’s only about a month to go before the new year is here, so you’ve decided to put off your divorce until after the holidays.
That’s reasonable enough — but it doesn’t mean you can afford to sit around and do nothing for the next few weeks. The steps you take today can set the tone for your future. If you don’t do anything, you’re making things much harder for yourself.
What should you do between today and the first of the year?
Here are the things you need to consider doing — now — to prepare for your divorce:
- Gather all your financial records. You need copies of your tax returns, pay stubs, investment records, insurance policies and real estate deeds, among other things.
- Open a post office box. You need someplace to receive private correspondence as you move forward with your divorce and make your plans.
- Open credit cards in your own name. If all of your credit is “shared” with your spouse, you need to start building independent credit.
- Hire an attorney. Hiring an attorney now doesn’t mean you have to file now. It does, however, give you the time to ask questions and better understand the divorce process.
- Develop a budget. You need to know where your money is going now (in case your lifestyle becomes important to the issue of spousal support) and what expenses you may have after you separate from your spouse.
- Look for a place. Unless you think you will be staying in the family home, you need to start shopping around for a place to live to see what’s there (and what it costs).
- Build a network of support. This may mean reaching out to old friends, picking up the phone to a brother or sister or looking for a therapist. You know what you need the most.
As always, the more prepared you are to handle the changes that are coming, the easier the process will be. Please continue reviewing our website to learn more about divorce options here in Washington.