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What to do before filing a petition for divorce

When Tennessee couples want to end their marriage, there are a number of things they should do before they file divorce petitions. Taking steps in advance might help to make the process easier.

Collecting documents

Gathering documents ahead of time is much easier than asking for copies of documents from an estranged spouse after the divorce petition is filed. Some of the documents to collect include the following:

  • Income tax returns for the past three years
  • W2s and income statements
  • An inventory of all of the assets
  • Recent account statements and account numbers for both spouses
  • Credit reports for both spouses
  • List of all debts with recent statements
  • Photocopies of titles and deeds
  • Retirement and investment accounts

Store the copies of these documents somewhere other than your home. It is a good idea to keep digital copies of these documents so that you can access them no matter where you are.

Meeting with a financial advisor

Before you file for divorce, it is a good idea to meet with a financial advisor. This person should not be someone who also represents your spouse. The financial advisor can help you to budget and plan for life after your divorce and help you to take steps to protect your finances.

Several other steps, including trying to separate your finances from your spouse’s, opening a new bank account in your name only, saving money, and getting a P.O. box to receive documents about your divorce plans are all good ideas. Preparations before filing for divorce might help you to protect your financial interests and facilitate a smoother process after you file a petition.

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