Protecting Yourself Financially in Divorce
Alongside the emotional turmoil in facing divorce, there are practical financial issues that one must deal with when considering or undergoing divorce. Here are a few ways in which you can protect yourself financially when going through divorce.
Open accounts in your own name
It is wise to withdraw an appropriate amount of money from a shared account to be deposited in a new account in your own name at a different bank. This is to prevent scenarios where your spouse drains funds from the joint account upon commencing divorce proceedings. However, do note that withdrawing excessive amounts of money can adversely affect you during legal proceedings. Furthermore, you should ensure sufficient amounts remain in your checking account to avoid bounced checks.
Closing credit card accounts
You can close joint credit card accounts so that you will not have to be responsible for your spouse’s continued spending. In certain cases you may not be able to close the account until the balance is paid in full, meaning that you will continue to be partially responsible for charges and balance up till the time you contact the bank but you can still take actions to freeze the account or lower spending limits.
Protecting your mutual assets
Whilst undergoing divorce proceedings, your spouse may try to dissipate joint assets ( joint bank accounts, properties, etc) in attempting to prevent you from obtaining a portion of these assets. If you feel that your spouse is likely to make such attempts, you should contact an experienced divorce lawyer immediately for advice on steps you can take to safeguard your joint assets (e.g. filing of injunctions)
Hire a good divorce lawyer
In fear of racking up exorbitant legal fees, one may be tempted by cheaper alternatives or even choose to proceed without a lawyer. This may be an option if the marriage was very short, both parties intend to end the marriage without litigation and you have no children and few assets. However, where there are substantial amounts of assets to be divided, scrimping on legal fees could cost you a lot more upon an unfavourable division of matrimonial assets.