After you or your spouse have made the decision to file for divorce, every thing you do can have an impact on how your divorce is ultimately settled. It is important that you carefully consider each decision before making any moves. To help protect your interests, here are some things you should do.
Wait to Move
Your first inclination after the decision to divorce is made might be to move. Unfortunately, this move could end up having an impact on custody if you and your spouse share children. The home in which you are currently living is considered to be the family home. To the family court, the best interests of your children are considered first.
In many instances, that could mean the children remaining in the family home. If you move out, you could be inadvertently agreeing to giving your spouse temporary custody of the children. Before moving out, consult with your attorney so that a parenting agreement can be worked out.
Cancel Your Credit Cards
Any credit cards that are in you and your spouse's names needs to be canceled. If your spouse chooses to use the cards to finance his or her new life, you could end up being financially responsible for those bills. Before canceling the cards, inform your spouse of your intentions. Wait until the minutes before you cancel the cards to do so though. You do not want to give your spouse a chance to run up the cards.
Review Your Expenses
Between the need to establish a new residence, attorney's fees, and court fees, divorces can be expensive. It is imperative that you and your spouse start taking steps to reduce the amount of unnecessary expenses that you have. You and your spouse need to write down all of your expenses and decide which ones need to go.
Make Copies of All Personal Records
Even if you and your spouse have agreed to keep your divorce civil, there is a chance that things could deteriorate later. If it does, you could potentially lose access to important documents. To avoid losing access, it is important that you make copies of all important personal documents as soon as you can. Important documents include Social Security cards, bank statements, W-2 statements, and any other financial records. Keep one copy of the documents for yourself and provide your attorney with the other.
Consult with a divorce attorney in the early stages of your divorce so that you can avoid making any other costly mistakes.