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were in your joined account at this point. Just explain that you

removed the money from the joined account so you wife can not

maliciously withdraw and hide it.

• Remove all your personal documents from the house. Remove your items from the house that are valuable, have sentimental value to you, or anything else you absolutely want to hold on to (renting a short-term

apartment your wife does not know about before filing for divorce may

not be a bad idea).

• Make a record of all marital property left in the house with a

camcorder. Make sure the "date" function is turned on. Store the tape

away from home.

• Remove all financial records from the house -paper statements and

other records, and computer hard drive(s) your wife may be using, and

backup copies that might have been made (on CD-Rs, etc).

• Be prepared for your wife to get violent when you tell her about

divorce. You need to think about personal safety.

• Get in contact with your local police department in advance if you

think your wife will be calling them and falsely accusing you of


Try to settle divorce yourself.

Tell you wife something like: “We are going to get divorced anyway. The less money we spend on lawyers, the more we will have to divide among ourselves.” Your goal is to sign a settlement before she hires a lawyer. Then, if she agrees, have your lawyer write the settlement terms you can live with and have your wife sign it. Whatever your wife agrees on before she consults her lawyer will generally be more in your favor than if her lawyer gets involved. You obviously want to do it only after you prepared for divorce and you are ready to discuss divorce with your wife.

If your wife is financially dependent on you.

Don’t cut her support entirely the day you announce your intention to divorce her. Continue supporting her basic needs to the best of your financial ability, and make sure it’s documented. You don’t want to give her ammunition to file temporary relief motion – you’ll probably end up paying a lot more if she does.

Be careful with changing locks.

Be prepared that your wife will change house locks. It’s (usually) legal for either party to change locks, so you can in theory change them yourself first. But be careful, particularly if you have children.

Whoever is locked out can claim that they were denied the opportunity to return home and be with their children. Call police if she locks you out. You have as much right to be in your house as she does.

Check to see if your wife is hiding money in the house.

Check in the freezer (particularly if you do not cook) and in her closet (her clothing and shoe boxes). Check other places in the house where your wife often goes but you hardly ever do.

If you have a girlfriend.

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