Surviving through the divorce process is about management of evidence; documents that support the positions that you will take relative to each issue that arises. The issues are broad, and depend on your circumstances. For example, if you have children, then child custody and child support are at issue. If you have a dependent spouse, then alimony may be in issue.
Issues are not just financial, if custody is at issue, and your spouse has a substance abuse history, then evidence of the abuse and how it effects the spouse’s ability to effectively parent will be in issue. Identifying the issues, and gathering evidence that supports your position relative to the issue is all that needs to be done.
A Divorce Checklist For Men
1. Gather Financial Information
Make copies of all financial documents that include bank statements, loan statements, credit card bills, car or personal loan papers, and papers related to assets or liabilities. It is probably best to make a scan of all of these documents. The documents should be organized by financial institution, as well as month and year. You should scan both your spouse’s and your documents. You should do this before you begin any discussion regarding separation and divorce.
2. Move Your Personal Items Out Of Home
If there are valuable items in the house, you should consider moving the items to another place. Not to hide them, but to keep them safe. You should also create an inventory of the content of the house.
3. Open Accounts in Your Name Only
You should open a savings and checking account, as well as secure a credit card or two in your name. You should not hare this information with your spouse. You should fund the accounts so that you have a financial cushion, if the need be.
4. Get Account Alerts Sent to Your Phone
You should have all of the accounts that you have used during the marriage send a notice to your sell phone when there is activity in the account. You should also get a credit report and make sure you are aware of every account that exists that is in your name.
5. Change Your Passwords and Mailing Address
If your spouse has access to all your passwords of mail, social accounts, internet banking, and online accounts, then it is time that you change all the passwords. Your spouse may be able to access your accounts if the spouse has your passwords. The passwords to all accounts should be changed. Once your spouse has been given notice of the divorce, you should get a post office box and direct your mail to the post office box.
6. Secure Your Credit Cards and Financial Accounts
If you and your spouse have your own credit cards, make certain that your spouse is not an authorized user on your credit cards. Make certain that your spouse does not have access to the financial accounts in your sole name. If you have joint accounts, you should decide upon the correct time and amount to remove from the accounts. You should discuss these options with an attorney before making any moves.
7. Create a Budget for Both You and Your Spouse
You should figure out through the documentation how much you will need to survive on a month-to-month basis, how much your spouse will need, what you net monthly income is, and what your spouse’s net monthly income is.
You should also identify the accounts that will no longer be joint accounts – like auto insurance, cell phone accounts, etc. There are many expenses that will increase when the accounts are split. You should understand the effect of separation on your finances.
8. Gather Other Information
Gather information that you may not have access to after you separate, including:
- Your spouse’s social security number
- Tax returns as far back as you can get hem
- Financial statements, including retirement accounts and rollover related documents, as far back as you can get them
- Credit card statements for every active credit card
- If you can get a photocopy of your spouse’s driver’s license and passport, you should
- Copies of your children’s social security cards and passports
- A copy of your spouse’s pay stubs
- Your marriage certificate
- Health insurance cards
- The names of any mental health professionals that you or your spouse may have seen, including marriage counselors
- A copy of any prenuptial or separation agreement
- Deeds and or titles to any property owned by you, your spouse, or joint
- A copy of any will that either you or your wife were the beneficiaries to
- Any documentation related to any inheritance you may have received
- Any documentation related to any gifts made to you
Consult An Experienced Divorce Attorney
At Paré & Associates, LLC (formerly Law Office Of Alice Paré) we are an experienced divorce attorney in Germantown, MD. Our practice is primarily family law. And we have decades of experience. We know our judges, and we know our court system here in Montgomery County.
If you want to begin to make your plan, are ready to consult with an experienced divorce attorney for men, or just need some questions answered, contact us here, go online to schedule an appointment, or call us at (301)515-1190 to set up an initial, free consultation.