Next, particularly if you expect your partner to put up a fight, it could be favorable for you to first develop your own exit strategy. And, It could aide in assisting you to cope with your own emotions surrounding your decision. Here are some suggestions to build your exit strategy:
Before you draw the line in the sand to leave, you need to make sure that you can survive on your own.
If you are earning an income that goes into a shared account, consider depositing some of that ahead of time into a new account in your name only. Depending on your state laws, this money is still considered marital property, but this strategy makes it more difficult for your spouse to cut off your access to funds, unfortunately as some spouses do. This may also be a time to consider ways that you can increase your income so that you will have more financial flexibility. Think outside the box.
If you don’t have your own income, it’s critical to figure out how you will live, both in the short and long term. Be careful about assuming that your partner will voluntarily pay your living expenses; divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Also, many times, spousal support, if you are entitled to it does not come close to covering all of your living expenses. So, prepare yourself for this reality. Consulting with a reputable attorney refined in the craft of handling divorce matters will be helpful here.
You may have to temporarily accept a living situation that is less-than-ideal at first. If you’re in an abusive relationship, contact shelters in your area. Even if they are not a fit, they will have access to other resources within your city. Alternately, consider staying with friends or family until you can get back on your feet. Or, perhaps in your case, living under the same roof while the legal process is sorted is a viable option. Regardless of your intentions, it would be beneficial to have at least one back-up plan as we all know, sometimes situations with alternative living arrangements change. You don’t need someone’s change of mind to leave you with nowhere to go.
Once you file for divorce, it is as though marital assets are placed on hold. There are benefits to this, such as the spouse that maintains health insurance for the other spouse would be required to continue coverage until the divorce is final. However, there are also downsides because there are limits on what assets can be sold and how the proceeds are divided. Be careful to learn the laws in your jurisdiction before you assume that you can make certain unilateral financial decisions. Your attorney can assist you with this analysis.
When it comes to paperwork, divorce is even worse than buying a house. The more information you have access to, the better. You can start by making copies of any important documents in the home – tax returns, insurance paperwork for home, automobiles, life insurances, mortgage documents…you get the picture. Place these in a safe location so that you can access them later.
Don’t assume that you’ll still have easy access to any online accounts. Again, divorce often brings out the worst in people and passwords may be changed without your consent. Log in to any important joint accounts and take screenshots, or save the information to a flash drive, of the vital information. Make sure that you have account numbers and other information you may need to regain access. This is not being sneaky; this is protecting yourself and your equal access to marital information.