Choosing to end a marriage is a difficult decision for both you and your spouse. As many partners share finances and property, you’ll need help from attorneys to legally divide assets. Taking a few precautions before starting the divorce process will help protect you during negotiations and provide the foundation to start building an independent life.
4 Strategies to Protect Yourself Before Filing for Divorce
1. Make a List of Non-Marital Assets
You should have the right to any assets brought into the marriage when you decide to divorce. To prevent arguments and discrepancies regarding non-martial assets, make a list of any property you’ve inherited, possessions you had before marrying, and gifts specifically given to you. For proof, reach out to the appropriate contacts for deeds, titles, and other paperwork the court might require.
2. Build Your Own Credit History
If your spouse is the primary earner or all mortgages and bills are in their name, you might not have a credit score. This could make it difficult to secure independent assets after the divorce. Insurance companies use credit history to set rates you will pay, while future employers might look at credit reports during the hiring process. When you move out of the family home, landlords could also use the information to determine whether you are a desirable tenant.
Establishing a credit history now will make it easier to transition to single status later. Knowing the current status of your joint credit report will also make you aware of anything your spouse is trying to hide.
3. Freeze Joint Accounts
If you have joint bank accounts with your spouse, freeze access to the funds or close the accounts before starting divorce proceedings. Doing so will lower the risk of being held partially or fully responsible for your spouse’s debt. Closing the accounts will also make it easier to monitor funds and account for spending during negotiations.
4. Hire a Qualified Attorney
Understanding your legal rights and obligations can be confusing, so enlist help from attorneys who specialize in family law. They will let you know all the rules and regulations regarding matrimonial law in your state, share objective advice, file petitions with the court, and provide additional help to make the transition as smooth as possible.
If you have decided to end your marriage, the attorneys at Hackworth, Ferguson & Thompson in Piedmont, MO, will handle your divorce. For over 45 years, residents in southeast Missouri have sought out the team for their experience in family, bankruptcy, social security, and criminal law. This means they are equipped to address your needs and find an effective solution to the problem. To schedule an appointment, call (573) 223-4247, or visit the attorneys online to arrange a meeting.