Plan Ahead to Protect Your Interests in a Divorce
If you have recently decided that divorce is necessary, taking a few steps to plan ahead can make the process much easier. Read on to learn about ways you can begin planning to file for divorce, and speak with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure you’re ready for the divorce process.
Save now for upcoming expenses: Divorce brings a large number of expenses with it, including court costs, attorneys’ fees, the costs of setting up a new home separate from your spouse, and possibly alimony or child support payments during the divorce itself. Start cutting back on expenses so that you’re prepared to cover these costs without undue strain.
Change your passwords: When people find out that a relationship is ending, they can sometimes react by hacking into social media or email accounts to do some digging, to post private information, or to act in an otherwise harmful or hurtful manner. If you have shared your usernames and passwords with your spouse, you should change them quickly. Be advised, however, that changing sign-in information for financial accounts you share could land you in hot water with the judge.
Run a credit report, and sign up for credit monitoring: It is during a divorce that many people learn about substantial joint debts that their spouses have accrued during a marriage, unbeknownst to them. Run a credit report as soon as you decide to split, so that you can begin to address these issues as early as possible. Additionally, if you’re concerned that your spouse may make large purchases or incur additional debt under both your names after you file for divorce, sign up for credit monitoring so that you’ll know about these expenditures as soon as possible after they happen.
Begin gathering important documents: The lawyer handling your divorce filing will need documents establishing the value of your property. Begin looking for and making copies of important documents like recent tax returns, loan origination documents, title to property you own, account statements, and credit card statements. Additionally, this is a good time to begin thinking about how your lawyer can establish that certain property is your separate property, and that your spouse is not entitled to a share of it when you divide your shared property. Separate property could include a home you owned prior to the marriage, or an inheritance received during the marriage which you kept in a separate account during the marriage. Look for purchase records or other documents that might help show that you purchased or acquired this property separately from your spouse.
If you are facing divorce in Virginia, ensure your interests are protected by choosing an experienced and aggressive attorney to handle your case, and contact the family law attorneys at the Pack Law Group for a consultation at 540-586-7225.