Tips To Consider Before Filing For Divorce

Having a difficult time in your marriage and thinking about separating or filing for divorce in either Carteret, Craven or Pamlico County? While these situations are unfortunate, they are not uncommon and if you’re contemplating either it’s best to be proactive and prepare yourself for the impending consequences as well as protect yourself from financial damage. Below are a few key points to consider and actions to safeguard your assets prior to filing.

Close All Jointly Held Accounts

Close any jointly held credit card accounts you have with your current spouse. If you cannot “close” the account due to the account having an outstanding balance due that you cannot pay off before separating, then contact the creditor and ensure that they close the account to the extent that no additional charges are allowed to be made on the account. If you and your spouse have a home equity line of credit, or any other line of credit with a banking institute, be sure to cancel that line of credit or take steps to assure the financial institution will not allow the line of credit to be withdrawn upon.

Make Sure You Have Checking and Savings Accounts In Your Individual Name
If you share a savings or checking account with your spouse, consider withdrawing some of the money from each account and using those funds to open new savings and checking accounts, in your name only. Consider using a different banking institute when you do this and give consideration to how much money you remove from the joint checking and savings accounts. How to decide how much money to withdraw from joint accounts? It is not advisable to withdraw all of the money, as that could unnecessarily upset your spouse and make divorce settlement or litigation much more difficult than it actually has to be. Give consideration to your financial needs, your spouse’s financial needs, and the amounts contained in each account. Consider withdrawing half of the funds contained in the accounts, if that is possible after considering the funds that need to remain in the account(s) to pay monthly bills and expenses. Consider opening a credit card in your name alone, if you do not already have one. This will give you some financial security if an emergency or urgent financial issue arises.

Secure Your Personal Property In A Safe Place
It is always a concern that a spouse will attempt to damage, destroy, hide or make secret another spouse’s personal property during the divorce process. At times this may be due to anger, or a desire to leverage the assets during the divorce process, or even out of a desire for revenge. Consider securing your personal property, important papers and documents, valuables (including jewelry), heirlooms and treasured family mementoes in a secure place such as a safe deposit box in your name, a family member or friend’s home you trust, your work office if your spouse does not have access, or any other secure place for which your spouse does not have access. It is always easier to secure your personal property, important papers, and other valuables prior to beginning the separation and divorce process, verses arguing through attorneys after you have separated in an attempt to regain this property.

Consider consulting with a family law attorney, like the attorneys at Schulz and Stephenson Law, as soon as you realize separation is a possibility and prior to your separation if at all possible. This will allow you to address with a professional your specific situation, assets, debts, and property matters. You will learn what steps an experienced attorney can take on your behalf once you have separated to secure and protect your assets. For example, a temporary restraining Order or an interim distribution of property may benefit your situation.

Schulz Stephenson Law represents clients regarding Family Law and Divorce in Carteret County, NC including Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Cape Carteret, and Emerald Isle as well as New Bern and other areas in Craven County, Pamlico County and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a consultation so we can make your separation or divorce a much smoother process.



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