What to Do Before Telling Spouse You Want a Divorce


You may start considering a divorce once you know your relationship will not last. As you begin to consider its potential impact, you may wonder how to prepare yourself better.  While adjusting this caliber will undoubtedly impact your life, preparation for the Florida divorce process may help you retain control of your future.

Even when the split is mutually agreed upon, divorce is rarely easy. Along with the emotional turmoil most people experience, divorce can also cause quite a few financial concerns. That is why preparing financially for your divorce is so important, as are taking the right steps. If you will be the one to file for a divorce, there are some financial aspects you may want to take care of before filing. Here’s what to do before telling your spouse you want a divorce.

Once you file, the rules change. That is one of the biggest facts about divorce to take away from this.

You will not be able to do anything with your community assets, and if you try to move around assets, you could get in trouble with the court. Making an inventory can be handy as you work through the divorce settlement process.

Financial Steps to Take Before Telling Spouse You Want a Divorce

You can do many things to prepare financially for a divorce. You can enter your new life confidently and securely by taking the following steps.

Here are a few things you can do to preserve your financial wellness.

Organize Your Assets

Your finances will feel the impact of divorce. Changes to the frequency and amount of income shifts in responsibilities to lenders and single parenthood are all challenges you may face. According to U.S. News, collecting and organizing financial documents may alleviate confusion and give you a clearer picture of what to expect from a divorce settlement. Some things you can do include the following:

  • Know where your assets are
  • Collect passwords
  • Print physical copies of tax returns
  • Save records for shared financial accounts

Consider Debts

You need to know what you own and what you owe. Debts divide in a divorce just like assets. It is essential to understand which debts are marital and which are separate because you must pay for your own separately.

Monitor Shared Accounts

You and your soon-to-be ex may need to continue using shared funds until the end of the divorce process. In this case, tracking shared accounts is crucial to the outcome of the proceedings. If your spouse spends shared money frivolously, the court will want to know about it. Things like bank statements from shared accounts are ideal in this regard, as they establish spending patterns leading up to the divorce.

Consider Social Security Benefits

You may be eligible to receive some of your spouse’s Social Security benefits depending on the length of your marriage. Access to benefits can be extremely helpful in the aftermath of a divorce, as they can help you get back on your feet financially as you deal with asset division and spousal support decrees. In many instances, a spouse may benefit from their ex if the marriage lasts ten years or longer.

Apply for Your Own Credit Card

Many couples hold joint credit cards with their spouses. When you are out on your own, you will need to develop your own credit established to purchase vehicles and homes. Getting a credit card in your own name is the first step to establishing your own credit history. You should also check your current credit report to see your financial standing.

In addition to ensuring financial stability post-divorce, you must begin rebuilding your credit history. This entails getting a credit card in your own name, especially if you share your current cards with your ex. It is often easier to secure credit, leading to a divorce, as changes to your financial status can make it more challenging afterward. You should also check your current credit report to see your financial standing.

Open Your Own Bank Account

In addition to having your own credit card, you should also have your own bank account if you share one with your soon-to-be-ex. Along with the emergency savings account, set up a checking account for future paychecks. You can use this account to pay any new bills you accrue as you secure your own home and vehicle.

Develop a Divorce Budget

Even a relatively simple divorce can be expensive, but budgeting will keep you on the right financial track. Take a look at your current spending and see if there are areas where you can pull back. If you do not have any emergency savings, start putting money away now. The more detailed your budget, the more confidence you will have in your financial independence.

Prepare for The Future

You should also take this time to plan ahead for the future. Understand how much money you’ll need for divorce finances. Create a budget for your new single life to ensure you understand how your finances will look once your divorce ends. Take into consideration your income and debts. Think about whether you will have to move and if you will lose assets in the divorce. If you do not have credit accounts in your name, now is also a good time to set those up.

Build a Support System

Getting divorced may trigger lots of emotions that could impact your day-to-day life. Having a strong support system to rely on may provide comfort, encouragement, and hope. If you plan to divorce your spouse, consider joining a support group or starting a conversation with others in your circle who have experienced a similar situation.

Another option is to work with a therapist. Being able to talk about your feelings in a controlled environment may minimize your emotional unrest and enlighten you about how you can manage triggers during an unprecedented time. Working with an attorney may also provide you with reliable legal guidance so you can focus on staying in control of your life despite the upcoming changes.

Sever Ties

This is a good time to close any joint accounts you and your spouse own. Do not take all the money for yourself, though. This is outlined on our list of what not to do during divorce. The court may not like the look of that. Instead, split it with your spouse. If there are issues, leave the account as-is and let the court decide later how to handle it.
Many people do not consider their financial situation when divorcing. Taking a moment to review your finances before filing can save you from many headaches later.

Look Into Equitable Asset Division

Equitable asset division – especially in a high-net-worth decoupling – is often a key divorce focus. Moreover, a determination concerning property allocation flatly resists casual analysis. Accurate identification/valuation of marital wealth and its coupled distribution between divorcing parties is often one of the most challenging goals to achieve when ending a marriage. Where ultimate financial equity is concerned, proven legal counsel is a must. One high-asset divorce overview acknowledges that a legal team with a deep background in complex divorce advocacy “can provide singular insights” benefiting clients in property-linked outcomes.

As that piece notes, experienced legal counsel in a financially complex divorce will “quarterback [a divorce strategy] with knowledge and finesse.” That sometimes means soliciting input on an attorney-led team from financial experts (e.g., an accountant, certified divorce financial planner, or forensic analyst) who can provide value for a client.

Tampa Divorce Attorneys Can Help

Candor regarding how to file for divorce in Florida and the overall divorce process for impending Florida exes mandates telling it like it is. We stress that “Whether going through an uncontested or contested divorce, the process is legally complex and emotionally stressful.” That hardly means that it can’t be successfully negotiated, though. Legions of divorcing spouses do just that with timely, on-point, and empathetic help from a proven legal team.

While divorce can feel overwhelming, it can also have a profound impact on your life. Many people appreciate the freedom they experience after leaving a tumultuous relationship, especially regarding financial autonomy. Questions concerning financial matters or any other divorce-linked issues can be directed to a family law firm with a demonstrated record of success in divorce representation.

By taking a careful approach, you can pursue a bright financial future in the future. This is key to building a happy and fulfilled life, both personally and financially. Talk to a Tampa divorce attorney at our firm for more information.

Contact Our Experienced, Dedicated Divorce & Family Law Lawyers Today

As a dedicated family law practice in the Tampa Bay area, we work one on one with our clients, resulting in representation that is characterized by genuine care and understanding. If you are dealing with divorce or other family law issues, please contact at 813-223-7739  to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family and divorce attorneys.