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5 Helpful Tips to Protect Yourself When Your Spouse Files for Divorce


When you get married, you never imagine that your relationship will one day end in divorce. If it is time to dissolve your marriage, however, it is important to think ahead so that you can protect yourself. There are things that you can do from the early stages of your divorce to protect yourself legally and financially. If you can, use these suggestions to safeguard your interests after your spouse files for divorce in Colorado.

Stay in the Family Home

If you have children, staying in the family home can have an important impact on child custody. If you move out too soon, a judge may believe that it is better for a child’s stability to spend most of his or her time in the home that the child is used to. If staying in the family home isn’t an option, find accommodations that have room for your children. Try to remain in the same neighborhood or community to prevent long distance from getting in the way of a joint custody agreement.

Staying in the family home after your spouse has filed for divorce can lead to tensions running high. Do your best to minimize friction by staying in your own space within the home. If you need to have a discussion or confrontation with your spouse, do it away from the kids and with a third party present to help facilitate civil communications. Do not allow your spouse to take the kids away from the house. Call the police if you get into any domestic violence situations while still living with your spouse.

Hire a Divorce Lawyer

Hire a divorce lawyer in Colorado as soon as you find out that your spouse has filed for divorce. Retaining a lawyer early can protect your rights during important decisions such as child custody, child support, property division and alimony. Your lawyer can give you advice about what to say and what not to say – such as not posting on social media or badmouthing your ex in front of the kids.

Your lawyer can also help you respond to the divorce petition properly. Your lawyer can walk you through the paperwork involved in a Colorado divorce case and make sure you don’t sign away your rights. Then, your lawyer can negotiate or mediate with your ex-spouse on your behalf to fight for your desired outcome and increase the odds of reaching a settlement. This can save you time, money and stress. It is especially important to hire a lawyer if your divorce has complicated elements, such as children or high-value assets.

Build Your Own Finances

One of the most complex aspects of a divorce is the couple’s finances. Separating your finances after years of blending them can be difficult. Start by canceling any jointly-owned credit cards. This can prevent your spouse from racking up your shared debt. If you don’t already have one, set up your own bank account. Anticipate what your financial situation will look like post-divorce to start planning for your future. If necessary, seek employment or go back to school to set yourself up for financial independence.

Start Gathering Documents and Evidence

You can make your divorce smoother and easier by gathering together the records, documents and paperwork that will be relevant to your case. Make copies of important documents, such as financial records, tax returns, income and wage statements, bank statements, insurance policies, titles, and real estate documents. Safeguard your personal papers and start making a record of all of your marital property.  Make sure you are prepared  for court, in this case it may be especially helpful to hire a lawyer. 

Don’t Sign Anything

Many people going through a divorce make the mistake of signing papers sent to them by their ex-spouse or ex’s attorney. Signing a preliminary agreement, however, can result in losing property and custody battles later. It is not always possible to change your mind or renegotiate after signing an agreement. Bring any paperwork sent to you about your divorce to a lawyer for review before signing on the dotted line. 

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