Divorce can be emotional and jarring, and it can make you rethink a lot of things in your life as you move on to the next stage. Sometimes, though, you need to step back and directly address many of the financial aspects of the split. Crunching numbers doesn’t always seem to fit well with the emotional side of things, but it’s very important.

First, get all of your own accounts. Don’t keep using joint credit card accounts or bank accounts. Having your own gives you control over your money, and it’s especially important if the process takes a while and paychecks are coming in.

Next, take a look at your credit. You need to know where it stands so that you can determine how to do things—like buying a home or renting an apartment—on your own.

After that, get your financial documents in order. Do you own a car that you make payments on? Is your name on the deed for your home and your mortgage papers? Do you have tax return paperwork for the last few years? All of this can play into the divorce in one way or another, and you need to make sure you’re informed.

Finally, be sure that you look into the legal options that you have and all of the steps that are necessary in Maryland. Never take anything for granted. The more you know about how the process is supposed to play out, the different rights that you have and the financial tactics you can use, the more you can do to protect your financial future.

Source: Forbes, “Five Best Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013,” Jeff Landers, accessed Dec. 22, 2015