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Preparing for your divorce in Virginia

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Family Law

Perhaps you are considering divorce, or maybe you have recently been served divorce papers. If you are in either of these situations, there are certain steps you should take to prepare for your divorce.

These steps might seem tedious but they will often help your divorce process go smoother. Divorce can seem overwhelming at first as you learn about all the requirements and steps, so remember to take things one step at a time.

Protect your finances

Protecting your finances is one of the first steps to take. Make sure you have access to all your financial records. Change passwords or PIN numbers to any accounts that are in your name.

Order copies of your credit report and review them for any errors or inaccurate information. Divorce involves splitting your marital assets and debts so you do not want to get stuck with a debt that is not yours.

Have your mail sent to a new address, preferably a post office box that only you can access. The same goes for any valuable personal property or items with sentimental value that are yours.

Although your divorce might be amicable at the start, tension and conflict can cause these feelings to fade if disputes arise. It is not uncommon for spouses to intentionally destroy, sell or damage the other spouse’s property out of revenge. Put these items in storage or a safe deposit box.

Plan your new living situation

Living arrangements are the next divorce matter you should address. If you have little to no credit, start to build up credit to increase your chance of finding a suitable new place to live.

If you are the one remaining in the marital home, have all services transferred into your name.

Sometimes arrangements are made for one spouse to continue to temporarily pay the bills while the other spouse remains in the home, but this is not always the best idea. If the accounts are in the paying spouse’s name, a missed payment could cause an interruption in service.

Make a list of all your anticipated monthly expenses and develop a realistic budget for living on your own.

These are some basic first steps to prepare for a divorce. Remember that staying organized can make the process much easier.