Divorce is a complicated process that you shouldn't approach without thorough preparation. Here are some things you shouldn't do before filing a divorce petition:

Confirm That You Want a Divorce 

The first thing is to analyze your situation and confirm that you really want a divorce. Threatening your spouse with divorce isn't a good idea; don't bring it up if you don't mean it. For one, it creates unnecessary conflict with your spouse. Secondly, your partner may take you at your word and initiate the proceedings, and you may not be able to stop them once the proceedings are underway. Lastly, if you are the one who initiates the divorce with the hope of withdrawing the petition after some time, you are just wasting resources. If you aren't sure of your stance, consult a marriage consult or therapist first.

Gather Financial Records

Divorce may be the separation of married couples, but you will be surprised at how much the negotiations and discussions will revolve around money. You will have to discuss alimony, child support, asset division, debt settlement and many other money-related issues.

Therefore, you need to prepare for the negotiations by gathering the related documents and knowing where you stand financially. Some of the records to gather include bank statements, property deeds, business records (if you have a family business), and tax documents, among others.

Get an Estimate of Your Expenditures

If you don't know how much your household spends per month, you should start digging and get the information. The knowledge will be handy when it comes to alimony and child support discussions. Remember that you have to backup each of your demands. For example, if you are negotiating for $20,000 in alimony, you must be ready to explain why, and you can only do this if you are conversant with your family's expenditure.

Close Your Joint Accounts

Using a joint account with your spouse during divorce is a recipe for disaster. You can't control what your account will do with the money once the divorce proceedings start. For example, your spouse may blow the money as revenge for your "mistakes." This will ruin your finances and also damage your credit. Therefore close the joint account before the divorce.

In addition to the above precautions, it's advisable to consult a divorce attorney as early as possible. The attorney will furnish you with further information on how to protect your rights during the divorce.