Pre-Divorce Checklist for Women
Many married people have been surprised when their spouse suddenly wants a divorce. The reasons could be many, maybe one spouse simply got tired of the relationship or maybe they are seeing someone else already. It’s no fun being ambushed by a surprise divorce action and often it is the wife who is the most unprepared for the event, especially if her husband has had time to plan his course of action in advance. Women who suddenly find themselves very single without a plan are immediately put at a disadvantage when facing the divorce. In that light, there are steps a woman can take if she suspects there is a divorce headed her way. It requires a bit of enlightened self interest to begin to look out for yourself when it comes to completing a divorce.
In the category of looking out for number one, knowledge is power and it can pay big dividends later if you know every detail of your joint marital finances going in. You will need to know the details of all bank accounts, life insurance policies, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, and other important documents like your social security cards, passports, birth certificates, and any pensions. You will also have to make copies of many documents like bank account data, wills or trusts. A truly enterprising wife will also have copies of her husband’s paycheck and income data as well. If you haven’t checked in awhile, it might be a good idea to see what’s inside your safe deposit boxes too. Safe deposit boxes are often sealed in a divorce action, so you don’t want to stash cash in them.
If you suspect there is property you don’t know about, you can find and real estate records and deeds at your county courthouse. If a woman in a troubled marriage can hang on until the tenth anniversary has been reached, it will give her more leverage in divorce court regarding alimony, social security benefits, pensions and other benefits. If the home situation involves abuse or is otherwise unbearable, the wife will have to move out of course, but there may be financial advantages to standing your ground in the home until the bitter end.
When it comes to the joint bank accounts, you don’t want one at all. Terminate all joint accounts and open a bank account in your own name only, preferably at a different bank. The same goes for jointly held credit card accounts. Establish new credit accounts in your own name only. If the joint accounts are still active prior to the divorce, you may want to pay as many outstanding bills as possible while you can. Remember that you’ll need reliable transportation after the divorce and your ex won’t be around to help with car repairs. Get the car repaired before the divorce if you can. You may lose your health insurance as a result of the divorce, so visit your doctor, dentist or optometrist while your health-care coverage remains in effect.
Food and fashion are important to every woman and it will not be fun to be left wearing rags and hungry in your new single life. Sort out your wardrobe and make the additions you’ll need to get through work and job interviews. At the same time, stock the pantry with enough food to see you through if accounts are frozen in the divorce and your budget suddenly gets a lot tighter. Some of these tactics might sound a bit selfish, but the reality of divorce for many women is often that they are put at a distinct disadvantage and taking steps to ensure survival is only fair play in these circumstances.