Going through a Divorce? The 10 Things A Woman Should Do
Divorce shakes life’s foundations. Suddenly, high stakes issues exist in almost every arena: financial, legal and emotional. This creates the “perfect storm” that causes the couple’s conflict to rage completely out of control. During divorce it becomes difficult to make the rational decisions that are the heart of a carefully crafted settlement. Women who are understandably uncomfortable with the stress and tension of divorce may sometimes rush into a settlement only to reduce the conflict. Eventually, however, in future, they may live to regret their hastily made decisions.
If you are like many women facing divorce, you hope to reach an amicable settlement and avoid bitter and costly legal battles. Your divorce settlement, however, will impact your financial well-being and that of your children for many years to come. Therefore, you must achieve not just any settlement but one that truly meets your needs and that of your children.
If you are the wife in a marriage where your husband is the breadwinner and/or controls the family finances, the situation could get especially difficult.
Ten important things that you should do:
- Gather as much financial information as possible.
- Change your email passwords.
- Start putting money away for legal fees. If you don’t have access to your own funds your attorney can claim a contribution from your spouse to pay your legal fees.
- Make a list of your monthly income and expenses as well as the expenses of your children.
- Open a new checking and savings account.
- Open new credit cards in your name only.
- Change your Will, if you are married out of community of property, get a copy of your antenuptial contract.
- Change beneficiaries on life insurance policies.
- Take an inventory of all personal (non-marital) property, take an inventory of all marital property.
- Decide who will be the primary caregiver of the minor children and where they shall live.