Divorce is emotional. You’re probably overwhelmed and considering your future financial security. It can be scary and frustrating, and when it comes to steps to take in a divorce Clermont County experienced attorneys say this process is very much about emotions, but unfortunately, it’s also about dollars and property.
Protecting Your Assets In A Divorce
Once you decide on a divorce, you need to begin thinking about how to protect your assets, as well as any joint assets in the marriage. You cannot and should not assume that your spouse will act fairly. People do a lot of crazy things during divorces, and it’s impossible to know just how your spouse may react. Assume the worse and protect yourself.
Joint assets will be divided in the divorce – either through settlement or by a decision in court, however, it will be months before you get to that point. Until then, you want to ensure that joint assets are preserved. If you don’t already have a bank account in your individual name, it’s time to open one. This is an important step in taking charge of your own finances. The money in joint accounts is something you also need to consider. Both you and your spouse have the right to withdraw the entire amount. If possible, try to negotiate and agree to split the money and close the account. If that’s not possible, you can personally withdraw half, especially if you’re concerned about your spouse squandering all the money. This will show the court your goal was to protect the asset, not just claim and spend it.
If your children have bank accounts and your spouse is listed as a joint owner, you may be concerned about the safety of the money. Withdrawing it and opening a new account for the child may be a protective step to take. If you do not have access to these accounts, be sure to obtain bank statements and account numbers so that you can provide this information to your attorney.
Think Ahead About Cash And Credit Cards
It’s a good idea to have some cash on hand, in a safe place. If you spouse suddenly decides to freeze joint bank accounts, and credit cards, you could be left in a very tenuous position. Having emergency cash is a smart idea.
Also, if you do not have a credit card in your name, this is the time to open one. This will help to establish your own credit. Any other joint credit cards you should be worried about. Since both of you are authorized to use them, you are both responsible for paying them. If your spouse goes out and charges thousands of dollars and doesn’t pay, you’re considered responsible, as far as the credit card company is concerned. Purchases made after the date of separation will be addressed in your settlement, however that could be months away, and during the waiting, you’re likely to damage your credit rating.
As you can see, there are many potential problems that arise before filing a petition for divorce. If you’re considering filing for divorce, the best step to take is to consult with an experienced attorney.