If you were recently served with divorce papers, you are most likely a bit concerned about your future and the distribution of assets you own in partnership with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. There are several steps to take in trying to protect belongings from getting into the wrong hands before a judge can make a determination on how personal property should be split. Here are some tips you can use to ensure belongings that were specifically yours will not be taken maliciously when going through a divorce proceeding.
Come Clean About All Assets During The Process
It is extremely important to make a disclosure to a divorce attorney, such as Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP, about all assets you have in your possession. Do not try to hide items by giving them to friends or family for safekeeping. Should these items be disclosed later on, you may need to pay for a portion of their value if they were obtained throughout the duration of your marriage. Non-disclosure of items will also tarnish your credibility, making your attorney more likely to have further investigations done to determine whether there are additional items being concealed.
Provide Receipts To Help In Showing When Items Were Purchased
If you have items you had purchased before you had become a couple, they will be deemed as your personal properties if you are able to prove your spouse was not a part of your life at the time you had acquired them. Request documentation showing vehicles, land, houses, or expensive items you had as a single person that were purchased by you alone. A trip to your auto dealership or courthouse will help in proving larger assets are totally in your name. Electronics, jewelry, or other valuables may require credit card statements or paper receipts in proving ownership.
Track All Monetary Transactions To Show Your Spending Habits
If you have a joint bank account, money you had placed in the account before your marriage may be solely yours. This will require you go to the bank to get back statements showing your deposits as well as any pay stubs showing you were the one who had made the money you were depositing. It is best to track all of your future spending meticulously to show you are not taking out more money than needed for bills and everyday living expenses. Be sure to keep enough in the bank for your spouse to do the same.
If you fear your spouse may wipe out your account in retaliation, contact your bank and ask them to freeze the account from withdrawals from both you and your spouse until your divorce attorney can give you advice in how to proceed. Consider opening a new account in both of your names where you can deposit money for your spouse's needs during the divorce process. Make sure to have statements showing you were not being stingy with money given during this time.