If you are planning to file for divorce as soon as 2018 hits, you are not alone. According to Time Magazine, January is one of the most common months for people to split up. If you are dead-set on making 2018 the year you become single again, you should do some preparing before you officially announce your divorce.
Divorce can be expensive, and the costs can blindside you if you jump into it without preparation. Here are some things you should accomplish before you tell your spouse you want out.
1. Organize important documents
Start gathering your financial information as soon as possible. Gather bank statements, tax returns, real estate deeds and retirement account statements – anything that verifies your assets, debts, income and expenses. This is crucial to determine how the courts will split your property and whether there will be spousal or child support. Getting these documents ready now will mean you do not have to try and get any of this information from your spouse later. This will save you time, stress and money.
2. Separate credit accounts
If you have any joint credit card accounts, make sure you separate yourself from them so you do not acquire any extra debt. Freezing your accounts may be necessary. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse has authorized user status on any of your cards, simply ask your credit card company to remove him or her.
3. Save and budget
Divorcing can be expensive, and living alone can be difficult. Start saving money now and budgeting so you can brave the financial storm. Divorce proceedings can take several months or longer. Make sure you can afford basic living expenses for this amount of time. If necessary, open a new credit card with a low-interest rate.
Waiting to divorce until after the holidays may be a smart decision, but you should take some steps to get ready before jumping the gun.