Getting Ready for the Divorce Process

If you are a Michigan resident who is considering filing for divorce, you should first prepare for the process. Preparation, even before filing, can help you protect your interests and your financial stability after the divorce is finalized.

Find professional advice and support

As you begin to prepare for divorce, you might benefit from finding a divorce lawyer to explain the process and your options. Even if you are seeking an amicable divorce and are sure your ex-spouse is willing to work with you to resolve your issues, having legal assistance before and during the process can help you avoid preventable mistakes. As well, you might also seek to gather a support team of family and friends who you can talk to openly about your process and even a mental health professional to support you during this tense time.

Know your finances

Part of the process of divorce will involve negotiating a settlement. Before going into these negotiations, you should become knowledgeable about your finances. Some of the things you can do to prepare to include:

• Listing all your assets, such as saving and investment accounts, the family home, vehicles, or valuable property
• Identifying all your debts
• Gathering supporting documents, such as tax returns, property titles, and account statements
• Establishing your and your spouse’s incomes
• Creating a budget for post-divorce living

Handle credit cards

Establishing your individual credit history, if it does not already exist, is important as you will need it when you begin living as a single person again. During this time, you might open an individual line of credit. At the same time, you should attempt to pay off and close any joint credit accounts or freeze these joint accounts so that no additional charges can be made.

Moving forward with a divorce can seem overwhelming. Preparing for this process can help make the experience more manageable.

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