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Single again...
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It is always sad to see a relationship end. Make sure you have exhausted all efforts before contemplating this step.

Soul search. Why do you want to leave? Can the relationship be repaired? How will this impact you and your family?

If you decide to move forward

Plan. Research the process. Get prepared financially by building Emergency reserves, paying down debt and building a budget to reflect life on your own. Establish credit in your own name. Pursue education or training if you need to change careers. Forecast what you are going to need to get a fresh start; including the cost of housing and relocation.

When you are ready

File for separation. Use this time to learn more about yourself. Be open to reconciliation. Engage experts as necessary. Cancel joint credit.

During this emotional time

It is easy to overlook bills and miss due dates.  This can result in late fees and wreak havoc with your credit score.  Know anything and all with your name on it.  Ensure they are paid... even if it is your ex's responsibility.  They are going through the same turmoil you are.  They may forget. They may not be as responsible as you and lack the money.  If bitter, they may want to ruin your credit out of spite. 

Once the divorce is final

Move on. Take time to heal. Neither of you should have to pay for past mistakes forever. Establish your own bank accounts, transfer ownership of divided assets and get your own health insurance. You may be eligible for health insurance through COBRA for a period of time. Update your estate plan. Remember to change beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts. Make sure your name is no longer on jointly owned assets—this may expose you to lawsuits.

 

<NEXT: Consider a humane divorce>

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