If you have resolved that you are going to divorce your spouse, there are a few things you should do first. It is important to prepare in advance for certain situations that might otherwise turn your plans upside down. This is especially true if you have been the stay-at-home spouse/parent.
Get a Job
Custody is almost never awarded to a parent that has no income and no expected source of money. If you cannot support your children and provide them with a roof over their heads, the courts may award custody to your spouse. Adding insult to injury, your spouse could then sue you, the penniless one, for child support, which would begin accruing within ten days after the court order is filed.
Avoid that nightmare and get a job, any job, during the day when your spouse is at work and the kids are at school. Limit the hours to the times when everyone else in the house is not at home. If you still have a small child at home, find a job that allows you to work from home.
Start Looking for an Apartment
If the house is not in your name, or it is in joint ownership with your spouse, you may not be able to remain there while awaiting the divorce hearing. Additionally, if you fear that your spouse will become violent once served with divorce papers, you are not going to want to stay in the house with him/her. That said, begin looking for an apartment as the time draws closer to the month and day that you expect to have your spouse served. Then you and the children will have somewhere to go.
Make Sure Your Car Is in Your Name
If you are going to have transportation, make sure your car, the one that you drive most often, is in your name only. That way, your spouse cannot retaliate by claiming you stole the vehicle, and he/she wants police assistance in retrieving it. If it is in joint ownership, you can (in most states) easily transfer it into your name.
Find a Really Good Divorce Attorney
Divorces are not easy, and they are even more complicated when children and property are involved. You cannot make a clean split without an attorney's help. This is all the more reason to get a job, so you can get enough money together for a divorce attorney and an apartment.