Private investigators are often contacted early in a divorce process to provide services. Providing some sound advice for them to follow as they prepare for divorce will empower them and reduce some of the stress they will experience as a part of the process. If they have explored all of the options to save their relationship and find that divorce is the only option share the following tips with them before they begin the process:
1. Create a list of property and financial assets.
List cars, boats, household goods and any other assets you own. Photograph the items to show their present condition. Where possible, include the purchase dates value at the time of purchase and a brief description of how the property is used and by whom. Most important, identify where the assets are located.
2. Gather health insurance coverage information for you and your children.
Obtain copies of health insurance plans. Attorneys will need to negotiate health insurance coverage as a part of the divorce. It will be easier to gather health insurance information prior to beginning a divorce. If there are long term prescriptions or health needs, make a list and include a copy of the last two or three months of bills.
3. Get a post office box and start re-directing your financial mail and legal documents.
Getting a post office box will allow you to redirect your credit card statements, receive important legal documents from your attorney, and provide security that mail will not be intercepted.
4. Start putting money aside.
Start saving money to help with legal, moving and unexpected expenses while your divorce is being negotiated. During a divorce it is possible that some of your joint assets will be frozen or held until a final agreement is reached.
5. Open saving and checking accounts.
Once the divorce proceedings are started you may not be able to access funds in joint accounts. It is important that you have a checking and savings account started to help you with the transition and to start building your credit. Let your attorney know about the accounts.
6. Open credit card accounts.
Open credit card accounts in your name only before the divorce. This will help you establish your credit, receive better interest rates if you are not working. You may also need the credit to help with expenses during the initial divorce proceedings as joint accounts may not be accessible. Important: depending on your state you will be responsible for any charges made on the new accounts.
7. Get a copy of your credit report.
Look for lines of credit, or credit cards that you were not aware of. If found, share this information with your attorney and/or private investigator. Also, prior to the divorce proceedings you will want to dispute any inaccuracies that may appear in your credit report, clear up any errors. Keep a copy for later use.
8. Change your will, beneficiaries on insurance policies.
Remove your spouse from any living wills or wills you may have. It will be easier to make these changes prior to the divorce. It may become more complicated to make changes after the divorce. When changing beneficiaries on insurance policies, be aware that your spouse may be contacted. Talk with your insurance provider to understand the complete process.
9. If you suspect your spouse is having an affair.
Don’t confront your spouse or the person you believe they are having an affair with. Gather information such as receipts, names of witnesses but don’t confront them. Share this information with your attorney and/or private investigator. Confronting a cheating spouse prior to the divorce provides them the opportunity to hide or terminate the relationship. Confronting the other individual could land you in legal trouble.
10. Get professional help—legal and financial help are invaluable, particularly when dividing property.
It is important that you have legal representation. Negotiating on your own or trying to navigate the legal requirements requires experienced professionals. Let your attorney deal with the legal issues and take some of your worries away. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
No matter the circumstances, the divorce process is difficult and challenging for the individuals involved. Providing them with some useful tips to prepare will keep them in control of their situation. And, if they change their mind and continue the relationship, none of the above tips would put them in an irreversible position.
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