A marital separation can provide an opportunity to get some perspective on your relationship. However, it is also often a first step toward obtaining a divorce. Failing to face this prospect or to prepare yourself for any eventuality during this time could leave you vulnerable in future court proceedings. We have assembled a list of some simple steps you can take now to ensure you are protected in either scenario.
Steps To Take While You Are Separated From Your Spouse
For some couples, a marital separation may involve attending counseling or meeting more informally to discuss the issues surrounding the marriage. It may also serve as a cooling off period in cases of marital misconduct, such as when one of the spouses engages in an affair. While this is no doubt a stressful and emotionally draining time in your life, it is important to attend to some practical matters as well. The following are five simple steps to protect yourself:
1. Gather important documents.
If you end up filing for divorce through the Aiken County Courts or you remain separated but require spousal or child support, you will need to produce certain documents in your case. Take the time now to gather items such as social security numbers, birth and marriage certificates, along with military paperwork and other items which may be a factor in your divorce proceedings.
2. Make an inventory of property and assets.
Under the South Carolina Code, marital property division is a major issue in divorce. Getting your fair share in a divorce order or settlement can go a long way towards helping ensure your future financial security. Make a list of all real estate, vehicles, household belongings, and other assets, including financial accounts, shares in business, and retirement funds.
3. Calculate marital debts.
Equally important as dividing marital property is resolving any outstanding marital debts, Gather copies and statements from any accounts you owe on, such as mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards. You will need to list these amounts in financial disclosures, in the event you do file for a divorce.
4. Create a new budget.
It can be difficult adjusting to a reduced income following a divorce, particularly if you depended on your spouse’s paycheck. Take a look at the current housing or rental market and consider the amount you might need to meet your living expenses. In some cases, you may be entitled to spousal support as part of your divorce case.
5. Avoid emotional entanglements.
While it is natural to feel somewhat lonely and isolated during a separation or to want to spend time with others after years of an unhappy marriage, avoid emotional entanglements until your divorce case is resolved. Not doing so is a major distraction and could work against you in divorce negotiations.
Get Legal Help
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC., we can provide the trusted legal guidance you need to protect yourself and your rights throughout a marital separation. To request a confidential, one on one consultation, contact our Aiken, SC family law attorney today.