Preparing for Divorce

These are the many things you must do in preparing for a divorce. First and foremost, if you can resolve the differences between you and your spouse, I would encourage you to make every effort to do so.

However, if your marriage problems are insurmountable, it’s paramount that you undertake these steps to be certain about your decision.

Here are the top five things to do:

1. Talk to your pastor, marriage counselor or other professional who may be able to help you save your marriage.

Even if you don’t think there’s hope for the marriage, you can benefit by learning what went wrong, how to cope, and how to move forward from here.

2. Talk to an attorney before you do anything.

Even if you don’t hire this law form, a consultation with an attorney can help guide your focus before you discuss divorce with your spouse. It’s important that you understand your options ahead of
time… not some time down the road when it may be too late to alter the outcome.

3. Do not move out of the marital home without talking to an attorney first.

Leaving the house without a good reason may result in numerous unintended consequences. If you leave the house, you may also be unable to return until after a court divides the property. However, if your spouse is violent, you must take all steps necessary to protect yourself and your children; even if that means leaving your home.

4. If you have been involved relationship(s) outside of your marriage, talk to a lawyer before you discuss this with your spouse or anyone else.

As in many difficult circumstance, the less said is the best said. In addition to the fact that adultery is illegal in West Virginia, admission of an affair often has other consequences beyond anger and feeling of betrayal. If alimony is an issue in your case, an extra-marital relationship may be the tipping point in your spouse’s favor.

5. Take steps to safeguard your assets before you and your spouse begin discussing divorce.

It would be best if you can take an inventory and possession of your assets prior to separation, especially those assets you wish to be using, such as furniture and vehicles, and those assets that might be liquidated by your spouse, including, guns, jewelry, collectibles and cash.

Additional steps that will benefit you during the pendency of your divorce action are as follows:

  1. protecting your own credit rating by freezing or closing joint cards;
  2. blocking your spouse’s access to other joint credit such as a home equity loan;
  3. closing joint bank accounts and opening accounts in your own, individual name;
  4. changing the name of the responsible party on utility and other bills; and
  5. avoid spending any marital property or assets.