Divorce can be a nasty and painful process. Even if both sides are amicable and getting along, but feel that they shouldn’t be married, things can still get bad. In a lot of cases, divorce involves a lot of negative emotions which can make the process like hell on earth. When there’s a lot of negative energy like that, one or both spouses could be looking to hurt the other one.
When divorce proceedings turn spiteful, and even when they seem like it’s not going to be so bad, you should work to protect yourself immediately. You need to protect your own assets, your money, and your savings. The smart thing to do is start preparing before you even decide to get divorced. You’ll need to look at the laws of your state and see what rights you have. Contacting the Tiffany Fina Law Firm is an essential first step in going forward with learning how to protect yourself and your rights.
Separate Property vs. Community State Rights
Different states in the country have different regulations on how they handle divorce and asset distribution. If your state is a community property state, it’s a good bet that everything you own is always going to be split. Your spouse manned up getting just about half of everything you both acquired while you were together in marriage.
And yes, that includes your paycheck. If you bought a car together, even your savings and retirement account can be split between the two of you. If you live in a separate property state, it’s easier to protect your assets, but on the other hand you have to prove ownership. If something is in your name, it obviously belongs to you and you would most likely win that in the divorce.
Do You Have Your Own Bank Account?
Here’s another tricky issue. Married couples often decide to combine their money into a joint bank account. Even with the joint bank account, each side might still have their own personal bank account on the side or keep the bank account they had before they got married. Either way, everything in the joint bank account will most likely end up split between you.
If you only have one joint account, you need to open up your own right away and start putting money into it. Keep your money safe and away from the joint bank account. This will stop your spouse from potentially draining your account and leaving you with nothing. But there is still another step to protect yourself and your money.
Did You Establish Separation?
It’s not enough to just start your own individual bank account. If you’re still married, your spouse can still claim the money in your separate bank account, especially if you live in a community state. In order to fully protect your money and your individual bank account, you would need to establish separation.
Establishing separation means that you are preparing yourself to live on your own which will also help protect your paycheck and your assets as you begin your life anew. Once you get that separation established and complete, then you become an independent person and your spouse can no longer claim that any new assets or money belongs to them.
Here’s the thing, by establishing separation you are allowing yourself to move out. You can go back and stay with your parents for a while or get your own apartment. Either way the purpose is so that you can have proof that you and your spouse are over and are no longer a functioning couple who can live together anymore. Anything you earn after you move out will be 100% yours and your spouse can’t touch it.
Protect Yourself by Being Safe
If you’re close to preparing for a divorce, even if you are fully separated, you may find yourself free to experiment. Maybe you want to jump back into the dating scene. Maybe you want to enjoy your newfound freedom so you can start going out partying again. Of course, that’s your decision and it’s your life to live, but it can come back to haunt you during the divorce proceedings.
During this time, despite all the negative emotions that might well up, you need to try as hard as you can to be on your best behavior. Don’t taunt your spouse. Try as hard as you can to be nice to them, even if they can’t stand you and aren’t nice to you. The proceedings will go by much smoother and you’ll be seen in a better light by the judge if you cooperate and are respectful.