The time to think about certain aspects of a divorce is before you actually file. By doing this, you can make sure that you have things in order for when you do get the divorce moving forward.
Whether you are just trying to decide if a divorce is right for your situation or you are actively working to end your marriage, here are some things to consider:
- Financial documents. Tax returns, bank statements and investment account information can be helpful during property division.
- Budget. You need to know how your income stacks up against your bills since you will likely face a reduction in income when you rely on your paycheck alone.
- Maryland laws. Learning how state laws affect divorce can give you an idea of what might happen in your particular case.
- Living arrangements. You’ll need to determine where you will live once the marriage is officially over.
- Child custody. If you have children together, be prepared to work out the child custody agreement since this is a top priority.
- Credit. Your credit might take a hit due to the divorce because of a change in the debt-to-income ratio.
- Joint credit accounts. These must be paid off and closed or transferred into one spouse’s name since you don’t want to be held liable if your ex doesn’t pay debts he or she incurred.
Once the divorce is filed, make sure you are ready to protect your own interests. Preparation is key here since you don’t want to go into a hearing or mediation without having an idea of what to expect.
Set a time to meet with an attorney to review your rights and options so that you can be fully informed before you file for divorce.