Not all marriages are made in heaven. If you have experienced living with a controlling, bullying or abusive spouse, you know it only too well. In these circumstances, there are a number of things to consider in getting ready to file for divorce. If it is an abusive situation, your first concern should be for the physical safety of yourself and/or your children. After that, financial preparations are in order.
It may be helpful to set aside some ready cash, or at least make sure that you have ready access to needed funds in an account that is yours alone. It may also be helpful to make copies of and store securely needed documents, including statements about bank accounts and financial assets, real estate, investments, and retirement or insurance accounts.
If you do not have your own bank accounts, credit cards or retirement accounts, this may be a good time to establish them. Closing joint accounts or taking your name off of them may help in preventing large bills being incurred that you are potentially liable for.
You need to consult with an attorney sooner, rather than later, and it is often advantageous to get your case heard as quickly as possible. Filing a divorce will allow the court to issue various orders about assets, income, support, and other related financial issues. In addition, protective orders may be issued, if needed. This will allow you to engage in the discovery process through which you can seek to establish a detailed accounting for marital property.
If a spouse is controlling, bulling, or abusive, it is clearly time to move forward, to get on with your life and not look back.
Source: CNBC.com, “Divorcing a Bully, protecting Your Finances” Elizabeth MacBride, Jun. 18, 2013