If you’re wealthy and you see the writing on the wall, that your marriage is headed toward divorce, you need to protect your assets, your relationships with your children (if any), and your reputation among other things.
As far as those assets you’ve worked so hard to earn, protecting them is a top priority since a contentious divorce can leave the future of those assets to chance, or more specifically, the whims of a judge.
Do you have joint accounts with your spouse? Do you have joint credit cards? Are you the dependent spouse who relies on your spouse’s income for support? If so, it’s harder to tap into those earnings once the divorce is filed unless you take steps to ensure you receive temporary maintenance while the divorce is pending.
“Why is harder to access a higher-earning spouse’s paycheck after a divorce is filed?” Because, as a general rule any income earned after the date the divorce is filed is considered a spouse’s separate property, meaning it belongs to him or her.
I’m Afraid of Being Cleaned Out
If you’re afraid your spouse is going to show up at your bank and empty the account and either blow the money or hide it, you have plenty of company. You need to take action, but you must proceed with caution and don’t make the mistake of cutting your spouse off in the process of protecting yourself. If you close the accounts as a precautionary measure, you’re quite possibly setting yourself up for legal problems in the future.
Our suggestion is to contact our firm and set up a consultation. During the meeting, ask us what to do. If the divorce hasn’t been filed yet, the timing couldn’t be better. It’s always preferable to be on the offense than the defense.
Another suggestion is to head down to the bank and change the accounts so they require both of your signatures before one party can make a withdrawal. Regardless, get expert advice before you take any steps that might backfire.
Protecting Data & Mail
As soon as possible, make sure you have all the copies you need pertaining to your financial data, including credit cards, taxes, loan documents, etc. The next step is to change all of your passwords. And finally, protect your mail by renting a PO Box and having all of your mail forwarded there. This way, your privacy is protected and no one else can read it.
Contact our Putnam County divorce firm to schedule a case evaluation.