If you are faced with a difficult divorce, these recommendations can assist in safeguarding you and your child(ren) physically, from a legal standpoint, and financially.
When you initially discover that your spouse has filed for divorce, it might come as a total shock, or be a long-anticipated event.
Nevertheless, there are steps you need to take to safeguard yourself, your child(ren), and your financial affairs. This doesn’t mean you should plunder the family home or empty financial institution accounts. You should, nonetheless, take sensible steps to protect your interests.
Please remember the following recommendations are intended for cases in which a separation or divorce is expected to become confrontational; when you are divorcing cordially, these types of mattes most likely can be worked out sufficiently among you. When possible, make a bona fide effort to work things out, and always take into consideration the repercussions of your actions.
If there are children involved, think about staying in the family home.
Moving out prematurely might affect custody down the road. Acknowledge that in some situations, nonetheless, staying is going to cause increased tension between the two of your, and this heightened tension might lead to fighting in the presence of your children, or possibly domestic abuse. Be wary of this and attempt to reduce friction. As a substitute, consider “time-sharing” the home with your spouse prior to the custody and divorce matters getting worked out.
Do not permit your spouse to take the child(ren) and take off.
Your spouse doesn’t any more of a right for taking the children out of the family home than you do. Be sure that your spouse acknowledges that if they want to leave, they can, but the children need to stay. Once more, as a substitute, think about “time-sharing” the family home until the custody and divorce matters are worked out.
Retain an attorney.
When you and your spouse can not come to an agreement on the matters concerning your divorce, you’ll end up going to court, where you’ll be required to have a knowledgeable family law attorney for representing you.
Protect personal documentation and make copies of vital paperwork.
You need to locate and collect all of your personal documents, like your birth certificate, licenses, and every other personal documentation. With jointly-shared records such as financial institution statements, real estate documents, titles and/or deeds, tax returns, and W2’s, etc.), make 2 copies of each of them, and hand over one copy to your spouse. Keep your copies in a safe place.
Void all jointly-shared credit cards.
Meet with your spouse and notify them that you are intending to cancel the credit cards prior to you doing so. It just takes 5 or 10 minutes for canceling your credit cards, and in that same 5 or 10 minutes, your spouse has the opportunity to charge $6,000 on them. If the card is still jointly shared, and you aren’t separated or divorced yet, you both are most likely going to be obligated to pay that $6,000 credit card debt.
Make a record of all marital owned property.
The ideal way to accomplish this is with a video recording. When possible, do this along with your spouse; when that is not possible, make another copy. Catalog the whole house and its contents. Place items out where they are able to be seen, and open up drawers so everything in them is visible. Be sure the date function is on, so the date can be seen when the video is watched. Keep the recording in a safe place. When objects “go missing” from the house you are going to have a durable record of what is missing.
Safeguard your more expensive personal belongings.
If you have a baseball card or stamp collection, or likewise valuable personal objects, locate a safe place away from the house for storing them for a bit. Personal keepsakes and other unreplaceable items need to also be stored someplace safe. This only applies to your personal belongings, not general possessions, or communal property. When possible, meet with your spouse and have a discussion concerning this with them.
Decrease needless expenses instantly.
Get together with your spouse and agree to terminate unnecessary utilities, like satellite TV, extra phone lines, etc. Most likely, you are going to need the extra money sooner than later.
Do not sign anything.
A lot of individuals have made the error of signing documents or initial agreements, in which later caused property and custody conflicts to be decided against them. You might be signing a document that no attorney can alter later. Do not do it! When your spouse wants you to sign a document, graciously say you’ll be happy to, but your attorney has “ordered you to not sign anything” prior to them looking at it.
If any domestic abuse happens, call the authorities.
Don’t permit your spouse to engage in any domestic abuse towards you or your children. Call the authorities at once, demand that an officer come to the home, and file a police report. Get a hold of your attorney’s office and notify them immediately. You might also want to think about getting a restraining order towards them if you are concerned that you or your children might be subjected to additional acts of domestic abuse. You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
Lina Guillen, A. (2020, November 4). How to protect yourself during divorce. www.divorcenet.com. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.divorcenet.com/states/california/steps_to_protect_yourself_during_divorce.
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