Divorce is never easy, but if you or your husband are thinking about divorce, it is important to prepare for this dramatic change. As a woman, you are particularly vulnerable, especially if you have been reliant on your husband’s income to support yourself and your lifestyle. It’s essential to take action to protect your future.
One of the very first things to do is to open your own post office box. This will allow you to receive mail from your lawyer without your spouse knowing about it. The PO Box can also facilitate getting new credit cards and a new bank account.
You’ll want to have access to enough money to finance your side of the divorce. It’s unfortunate when a woman is forced to sign a disadvantageous divorce settlement because of lack of funds, and squeezing off funds is a common tactic employed by husbands. You’ll need to start putting money aside as soon as you know your marriage is likely to end in divorce.
After you have your PO box, you can open a bank account. The bank account should be at a bank where you and your husband do not have any joint accounts. Your divorce lawyer may want you to withdraw half the funds in your joint accounts as soon as you have your own account.
Now is also the time to apply for credit cards. If you haven’t been working, you probably want to do this before divorce proceedings start because your own income may not be adequate.
Monitoring credit reports will give you an opportunity to see what your husband is doing with your funds and accounts. If you suspect your husband may do something disingenuous with the money in your joint account before the divorce, you can sign up for a credit monitoring service.
You probably want to change your medical directives. If your husband is responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated, you should likely change that situation right away. You may not be able to remove your spouse completely from your will until the divorce is complete, but you can probably remove him partially. You can change beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and your life insurance. Sometimes these accounts require the spouse’s signature before he can be removed as a beneficiary; avoid changing beneficiaries too early if this is the case.
If you’d like to learn more, we are always here for you. Please contact us at (904) 241-0012 to discuss your options!