Divorce On The Horizon? Here is what NOT to do!

Divorce On The Horizon?  About to go through a divorce? Here is what NOT to do!

By Hayley Botha, Founder & CEO
Emerge StrongTM Divorce Coaching Services

If you know a divorce is on the horizon for you and your spouse, it is of the utmost importance to know what not to do from this point forward. 

Your soon-to-be ex-spouse is wearing you down.  You are tired of the arguing and possibly at the point where you will do anything to just keep the peace. "Please sign these papers," he/she asks. You would be surprised how many people would just sign papers put in front of them. When you know the marriage is over, there are things you must do to protect yourself from being financially burned.  With this in mind here is a list of things you should not do if you want to have a successful outcome in your divorce case. 

  • Whatever you do, DO NOT sign anything just before you have filed a petition for dissolution. You would be surprised how many people will sign a document just to stop arguing with their spouse.  
  • Show all documents you have been asked to sign to your attorney. This is what you are paying for, your attorney should review everything before you sign any document. 
  • Do not lie to your attorney, ever!
  • Do not dispose of assets that you know your spouse will request.
  • You may have joint bank accounts; however, I would recommend you do not “empty them” since your spouse is most likely entitled to half the funds. Again, speak with your attorney to confirm you may take your half of the funds in joint accounts.  
  • Unfortunately, many people try their best to “get even” with their spouse by incurring debt in their name. This is just stupid and will only make things worse for yourself. Don't be surprised if you end up legally responsible for those debts if it is proven this was not done without your spouses’ consent. 
  • If you cash a tax refund check which most likely belongs to your spouse, be prepared that a judge resolves it against you, and you must pay back your spouse.  
  • Do not ever discuss advice or strategy received from your attorney with other persons.  That destroys the attorney-client privilege and the attorney on the other side is free to obtain this type of information in discovery. 

Before you leave your home for the last time, please ask yourself if there is anything you wish to keep? If the answer is yes and taking it may cause a fight, you may have to leave it.  However, make sure you take an inventory of household items.  You need to be able to show what assets have been removed or destroyed.  If nothing else, walk through the house with a video camera and video everything there.  It will help you create a list of assets.

Divorce is generally a traumatic and life-changing experience.  Any decisions or actions you take may have an impact on the results of your divorce. This is the time to be proactive and try not to make it any more difficult than it already is.

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