Steps to Take Before Separating from Your Spouse
It may be tempting to rush into a separation when you feel your marriage is not going well. However, there are a few steps you should take before the separation to ensure you protect your own interests.
Here are a few of those steps:
- Get your papers in order. Examples of key documents include tax returns, mortgages, titles, wills, estate planning documents, credit card and bank account information, stocks and bonds, loans and any other agreements or contracts you have. These papers are important to have on hand anyway, but are especially vital in situations when you’re considering separation or divorce.
- Get financially prepared. Make sure you are going to be able to financially handle your separation. Try budgeting out your expenses as though you would be living by yourself, without your spouse’s income. This will give you a good idea of the type of financial burden you would be experiencing. You should also keep in mind the debts you and your spouse have incurred. You are still responsible for paying at least a portion of those debts, even if you are separated or divorced.
- Protect your valuables. Anything that’s valuable or meaningful to you should be kept safe so you can take it with you if you decide to leave. This could include jewelry, precious metals, furniture, electronics, old photographs, collections and other memorabilia. This will ensure these items don’t get lost in the shuffle if a divorce becomes necessary.
- Check your credit. Get a credit report and make sure you are in a sound credit situation. You may need to apply for a loan for a home or a vehicle after your separation or divorce. You should close any joint accounts you have and open accounts in your own name so that you alone are in charge of your credit.
For further tips and guidance related to legal separation in the state of New York, consult a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.