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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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What steps should I take after deciding to divorce?

One of the most difficult decisions you could ever make is to end your marriage. It is not a move you want to make without serious contemplation. But, if after much soul-searching, you conclude that filing for divorce is in your best interests, there are a few things you may want to do in preparation prior to announcing your intentions.

One of the most important things you need to do is to break your credit ties with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. To do this, you need to contact the issuers of any of your credit cards that your spouse is authorized to use and have his or her name removed from the accounts. You also may want to freeze joint accounts.

Timing is critical when taking such actions. You don't want to do it so soon that your spouse discovers your intentions without having been told of your plans. But if you wait too long, you risk your spouse running up a large debt that you will be partially responsible for.

Speaking of finances, you also should set some cash aside. To do this, you need to open a personal account and start making deposits. If possible, try stowing away an amount that will cover basic living expenses for a year.

You should also start collecting all your important documents pertaining to assets, debts, liabilities and expenses. Such documents can include tax records, bank statements, estate deeds and retirement fund statements.

As you make these initial steps, you will likely come to realize how complicated the divorce process can be. As such, you may want to get in touch with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can assess your situation and help you lay the groundwork for a divorce that provides you with as smooth a transition as possible to your new life.

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