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Steps Toward Divorce

By Brandi Simon

When you’re faced with the possibility of divorce it’s important that you make sure you and your children (if you have any) are taken care of. Before you even visit the attorney you’ll want to assess your financial situation. Income, expenses, child support, credit, they all play a part in your decision.

The very first thing to consider is your income. How much is your income? What are your expected monthly expenses? In this figure you must include your basic necessities. If you have children you’ll need to include the figure for childcare. Now you have the two most important numbers in this equation. Hold onto these for a few minutes. You’ll need this in a moment.

The issue of child support has to be included before we make the rest of our calculations. Many want to include a figure for expected child support into their income. This decision could produce an unwanted result. First, you do not know exactly how much a court is going to award you. Second, you may think you know your spouse but you really don’t. You think they’re going to pay child support faithfully but the chances still exists that they will not. So, to protect yourself and your children, I’m asking that you leave this figure out of the income total.

Now I want you to take your income and subtract your expenses. Does your income cover your expenses? If so, great, you know that you can afford to leave your spouse. If your income does not cover your expenses then you are not in a position to leave right now, unless you are in an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important to get out now!

When you have more month than money you have other issues to consider. If you leave now, where will the extra money come from? Do you have a friend or relative that can help you out until you can generate extra income. Can you get a second job? Are you currently in a position to earn more than you’re making. Many times we stay at the same job for years and years not making what we’re worth. Now is the time to assess your earnings potential. Do some research into what is the going rate for your job. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t have a higher earning potential, what can you do to increase your desirability to prospective employers? Get a degree or get an advanced degree. Change career fields to something that pays better.

Nearly every aspect of our lives is affected by our credit. Now is the time to order that credit report. It is absolutely vital to see where you stand with your creditors. Order your credit report. Go over it with a fine tooth comb. Dispute any items that are in error. The first time I pulled my credit report there were numerous errors. I disputed the items and they were removed or corrected. Do not underestimate the importance of this step. If you plan on moving, you will most likely be faced with an apartment complex or other rental company that wants to check your credit.

Now that you’ve completed all of the above steps it’s time to move into the next step, planning the move. If you have the funds to leave now then you are in a great position. However, many of us are not in that position. If you don’t have the money right now then it’s time to open a post office box and open a separate bank account with the statement going to the post office box. Start putting little sums of money into your new bank account until you are confidant that you have enough money to leave your spouse.

While there are many additional things to consider, this guide will give you a good place to start. It is meant to cover the basics for someone who has just started to consider divorce as an option.


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