If you didn’t see my first 5 tips when separating, jump back . That earlier post on separating dealt with the emotional side.
This one is more about the practical side when separating.
#1 Take a Look at Your Budget
Evaluate everything. Is there anything you really don’t need to be spending money on that you can cut back on? What bills may have changed with one less person living under the same roof.
Does your income cover your expenses? Do you need to increase it if he stops providing money? How much of your lifestyle do you want to keep the same? Do you need a new job, a side hustle or to go back to school?
#2 Get Your Credit Score
If you don’t already know your score, go to creditkarma.com.
Free credit score checks as often as you want without it affecting your rating. Find out your score. Improve it.
My new favorite tip is to pay half of your credit card payment 15 days before the due date. Then pay the remaining half 3 days before. This will look like you’ve made two payments, which you have, even though it’s still the same amount out of pocket.
#3 Get Financially Fit
Paying down debt and creating a nest egg will put you in a much better position financially.
#4 Prepare for self-sufficiency
You need to prepared to go it alone. To do things you may never have done before. While you may be doing fine now. Your spouse may still be helping out in the same ways he did before. If he is that’s great, I hope it continues.
Just be prepared in case things change.
What about the types of things your husband helped out with? Childcare? Home repairs? Car maintenance?
Maybe you can handle all that. Maybe he still does it for you.
But be prepared with options if not. Do you need to consider a change in your living arrangements?
#5 Consult a divorce lawyer
I’m not saying run and file divorce papers.
Just the opposite. You need time to process. Making decisions based solely on emotions is not a good idea. This isn’t about decisions.
It’s about knowing all the possible choices so you can move forward armed with all the information you need to make the right decision when you’re ready.
By consulting a lawyer and knowing all the options that are available during a separation you will feel more in control.
Your lawyer will be able to advise you on what legal actions are available. Answers that are not only specific to your state but also your personal situation.
No two divorces or separations look alike.
Finances, kids, property and the dynamics of the relationship with your spouse all play a part.
How long have you been married? Is the relationship still amicable or is it a war zone? Is any abuse or adultery involved? Are you still under the same roof? Is there a significant amount of debt?
There are so many factors that only a good lawyer can really help you with. Google and your friends can only take it so far.
Before going to the appointment with your divorce attorney, you should be knowledgeable in your current state of finances in regards to savings, budget, debt, and property.
It will save time and money to bring as much information with you.
Don’t try to wing it. Written down is better especially if there is a lot to remember. You may feel upset, confused or overwhelmed once at the attorney’s office, don’t leave it to memory.
The tips from above will help you prepare.
Once you leave the appointment, even if you don’t move forward with filing divorce you will have a better idea where you stand.
How long it takes to filing court papers, how much money it will cost to file, and where you stand financially once the divorce is complete will get answers.
Meeting with the attorney may offer options and resources you didn’t know were available to you. Maybe you qualify for alimony. Length of the marriage adds changes sometimes.
If religion plays a part in avoiding divorce, legal separation from your spouse can be a permanent status in some states.
Some of the best advice is to understand that if you file for divorce it takes weeks before you have a court date for pretrial and from that point another 6 months before you actually go to divorce court.
This will at least put child support orders in place immediately if that’s a concern and you can still choose not to divorce when you finally go to trial. You can even postpone another few months if you really think reconciling may still be a possibility.
What tips would you recommend someone navigating the new waters of separation and possible divorce? Comment below!
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