Oregon Divorce Law: Five Steps to Prepare for Divorce

Preparing for divorce can be overwhelming at times. It’s generally a highly stressful and emotional process – but it also has long term repercussions for your future, so it’s important that the details are properly managed. In this blog entry, we’re going to discuss five steps that you can take ahead of time that will help reduce stress down the road. If you’d like to talk to a Portland family lawyer about your divorce case, please contact us today!

Gather financial records.

Gather all your financial records and put them in a safe place. A safe place is someplace that your spouse doesn’t have access to, such as a friend’s house, your parents’ house, or a safe deposit box.

Open a post office box.

A PO box will give you a secure place to receive mail that your spouse doesn’t see. You’ll want a way to receive confidential mail from your divorce lawyer and other members of your divorce team. It will also provide you with a place to receive credit cards and bank statements.

Have your financial ducks in a row.

If your spouse controls the family funds, this can put you at a huge disadvantage during a divorce. If you don’t have access to funds for lawyers or living expenses, your divorce settlement may not be what you deserve.

You should look into opening a new checking and savings account at a new bank. You should withdraw money from your joint funds—your lawyer may advise you to withdraw half the funds.

You probably need a credit card in your name as well, in order to start establishing your own credit. If you’re not working or your income is significantly less than your spouse’s, apply for credit cards before filing for your divorce. This is also a good time to get copies of credit reports and make sure they’re correct. It’s also a good idea to monitor your reports to make sure your spouse isn’t doing anything outrageous with your joint accounts.

Document the property you brought into the divorce.

Property you had before the marriage usually remains yours after the divorce. Sometimes property disappears during a divorce, so it’s a good idea to document your property by taking pictures.

If you’d like to speak to a Portland family lawyer about your divorce or other family law matters, we can help. Please contact us today to learn more!