Besides being highly emotional, divorce comes with mounds of paperwork, settling of debts, division of property, and creating a new path into the future. While the divorce process is tedious and not for the faint-hearted, you don’t have to shout from the rooftops that you are going through it—you can prepare for it secretly.

How do you secretly prepare for a divorce? Here are tips given by divorce lawyers?

Find out what you own and owe

Money and property division takes center stage in divorce, so the first thing to do when preparing for divorce is to understand your financial standing.

Some assets such as marital homes, financial accounts, and cars are often split equitably, but others such as pension plans, artwork, inheritances, and belongings brought into the marriage aren’t obvious.

As you go through the financials, consider the intellectual property and overseas assets.

Work with a finance expert and gather all the necessary documentation regarding all the assets, including their present value, where and when the asset was purchased, and how it was purchased.

Marital debts are often split based on who can pay the debt—not by whose name the debt is. To avoid surprises, get your hands on your credit report and find out how much debt you have.

Once you know the amount of debt you have, obtain the relevant statements on all the open accounts, then give this information to your attorney for filing. The attorney will also advise you on the next course of action.

Get your credit card.

As a lady, you most likely don’t have your credit card—you have been using the same one with your spouse.

Well, since you are preparing for divorce, now is the time to get a credit card in your name.

The purpose for doing this is to ensure that you aren’t caught like a deer in headlights should your spouse get wind that you are planning a divorce, and they cut you off.

You want to be in a situation where you can get access to money even if your spouse holds your joint credit card hostage.

If possible, close all the joint credit card accounts before you commence the divorce proceedings. The purpose of doing this is to keep a jilted spouse from using the account and running up charges that might later be held against you.

It’s always better to offer to close the accounts and pay a smaller amount owed than wait for things to blow out of proportion.

If the account has a large debt and you can’t repay it, consider having the account frozen. You and your spouse won’t be able to use the account, but it will protect you in the long run.

Don’t move out of your matrimonial house.

When most women are through with their partners, they move out of their matrimonial houses—this is wrong. Unless there is abuse, you should stay in your marital house.

The reason for this is because moving out can have negative impacts on your case.

For example, when you move out, it gives the impression that you have little interest in the marital home. This gives you and your family lawyers Fairfax VA a hard time convincing the judge that you should have part of the property division.

Moving out could also affect your kid’s school, which destabilizes them, leading to poor performance.

Unless you move to a new house close to your old home, you shouldn’t move out of your marital house.

If there is abuse in the house and you have to move, continue making the mortgage payments to show that you are committed to having your home.