Is Divorce In Your Future? 4 Steps To Take Before The Papers Are Served

Posted on: 5 March 2018

If You've spent your life as a stay-at-home spouse, and now you're facing the prospect of divorce, you need to get out in front of the situation. Your life is going to be a lot different once your spouse files for divorce. Don't get stuck on the losing end. Here are four of the most important things you should do now that divorce is in your future.

Hire an Attorney

You may think that you know your spouse. However, once the divorce proceedings begin, you may find that the fighting really begins. You may realize that divorce often brings out the very worst in people. If that happens, you want to make sure that you have an attorney in your corner, especially if your spouse has hired their own attorney. The last thing you want to do is negotiate a divorce settlement by yourself when your spouse has a divorce lawyer.

Get on Top of Your Credit

Now that it looks like divorce is in your future, you'll need to get on top of your credit. If you've spent your married life relying on your spouse's credit rating, you may find yourself in for a rude awakening once you're dependent on your own. You might not realize this, but you're going to need your own credit for things like housing and insurance. If your credit score is tied up with your spouse, you may leave your marriage with no credit score at all, which can be just as bad as having poor credit. Take the time to obtain your credit report so that you know where you stand. If you don't have credit in your own name, apply for a credit card and start making payments on it. That way, by the time you need it, your credit score will be up where it should be.

Become Gainfully Employed

If you've been a stay-at-home spouse, you may not have a recent job history. That could end up hurting you when you try to apply for housing. Before the divorce is finalized, make sure you become gainfully employed. Being gainfully employed will give you an income of your own, and a job history that will help when you start looking for an apartment or house of your own. If you're going to request the marital house in the divorce settlement, being gainfully employed will also show the court that you have the financial stability to afford the upkeep.

Don't be Caught Off Guard

You may know how much your spouse makes, but you might not know what your marital assets and debts are. If you don't know that information, you could be on the losing end of the settlement talks. You've got to know how much you and your spouse owe in debts, and what you own as far as assets go. That way, when the assets and debts are divided, you can be sure that everything is divided evenly, and that nothing has been hidden.