A divorce is a legal process that essentially undoes your marriage. It might be an emotional and physical break-up, but it’s much more than that legally. There are many rules and laws that pertain to divorce. For example, in many states, you can’t just give away assets before a divorce to keep them out of the other spouse’s hands. Fear of the unknown can keep you from progressing. Here are some of the steps you should take before you get a divorce, as divorce lawyers in Collin County, TX, like from Scroggins Law Group, can explain.
Talk to a Good Attorney
Even if you and your spouse agree on a divorce, you should still get information from a divorce attorney to protect your rights and make sure you’re doing everything legally. You want an attorney who will negotiate for you and try to settle your divorce out of court, but who isn’t afraid to go to court if need be.
Know Where You Stand Financially
Through the divorce process, you and your spouse will divide your assets and debts. Make sure you know what you own and what you owe. Get documents of your financial and retirement accounts. Know what companies manage your loans. Get copies of your credit report to make sure you have all your debts accounted for.
Start Establishing Credit in Your Name
Divorce can be rough on your credit score, especially when your accounts are connected to your spouse’s name. Try to get one credit card in your name only before you divorce. It may still take time to build your credit score, but you’ll be one step ahead.
Close Joint Credit Accounts
Closing your joint accounts before you separate can help you manage your credit more effectively during the divorce process. If you can’t pay off the account, you can at least ask the creditor to freeze the account. Neither person can use the account, but neither can either person run up a balance during the divorce. You should also continue to make payments on any accounts through the divorce as much as possible.
Decide Whether to Move Out of Your Home or Not
Unless there is abuse, it’s generally recommended to try and stay in the home during the divorce. However, this is an issue to discuss with your lawyer, because it can hurt you to move out. If your spouse is trying to maintain the same presence in the home, you may need to negotiate for possession.
Make an appointment to discuss divorce with an experienced divorce lawyer.