Getting through divorce is emotionally, mentally, legally, and financially stressful. This is the curve point in your life when you need an expert divorce lawyer to represent you in mediation and court battles. For this reason, you should seek the guidance of a trusted and experienced New York Family Law Attorneys to fight for your rights, your freedom, and your financial future.
At your side, you need to protect yourself and your kids (if any) during the ordeal of divorce. It is crucial to take steps to safeguard your rights prior to the beginning of divorce proceedings, especially if you anticipate a hostile divorce.
Protect yourself in the court
It is important to hire the services of a good divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Aside from representing you in the court, your lawyer can provide guidance for the next moves you have to do to ensure that you are not crossing the line of what to do and what not in the period before the final decision.
Protect yourself financially
Open an account under your name
If you have a joint account, withdraw your share or half of the total fund. Use it to open your own account. Make sure that all applicable direct deposits like your job compensation are deposited to this new account. You may also need a checking account to help you with the monthly expenses when you are on your own. Untying all the accounts immediately is crucial to avoid personal financial struggles if the other party decides to drain the cash reserve. Inform your soon-to-be-ex-spouse about your decision and seek the advice of your lawyer about the ‘reasonable’ amount you can withdraw so it will affect the property settlement or cause heated confrontations.
Cancel jointly-owned credit cards or lines of credits
Get a copy of the credit reports and review them. Debts incurred during the marriage held you liable even if they are mostly done by your spouse. While it may or may not happen, the likelihood of your spouse ghosting you will make you accountable for the balance if you did not ask for the credit card cancellation. Inform your spouse that you wish to cancel the joint credit cards. Or have the balance of your own debt transferred to your individual credit card.
Do not give up control over assets or finances
Never sign documents that are not reviewed by your lawyer to ensure that you are not tricked into giving up control or custody over some family assets, accounts, or properties.
Identify financial resources
Divorce can be costly, and you also need to make sure that you and your kids are living comfortably. For these reasons, identifying all sources at your disposal is important. The list of financial sources includes job salary, savings account, investment accounts, securing a mortgage on real estate property under your name, borrowing against retirement funds, and other applicable items.
Protect yourself valuables and documents
Make an inventory of the assets
Documenting all marital and personal properties is important. You may need to do a video recording to ensure the accuracy of your inventory. Make sure that the date and time are visible in the recording. Go through the contents thoroughly and show them one by one. Make an extra copy of the recorded material and safeguard your inventory records.
Safeguard your personal records
This refers to your diplomas, birth certificate, marriage documents, property documents, deeds, tax returns, bank statements, and so on. Make copies and stash the original documents in a safe place.
Secure all your personal property
If you have valuable collections like jewelry, paintings, heirlooms, or personal mementos that you bought with your own money, be sure to find a safe location for them away from your marital home. Do this to prevent possible damage or loss out of momentary anger or desire for revenge. While you can always sue your spouse and use the destructive behavior as another ground for a quick divorce decision, losing your personal valuables is heartbreaking.
You have a long way to go, so protecting yourself in all aspects, including your mental health, during divorce is necessary. Needless to say, you need an experienced family lawyer who knows how to leverage the grounds for divorce for your optimum benefits. Finding the right one would ensure that you are getting the best possible circumstances, including custodial authority over your children and properties.