Frequently Asked Questions – Divorce

Divorce

What can I do before meeting with my lawyer to protect myself? 

Some clients worry that a spouse will empty bank accounts or run up credit card bills because he or she is anticipating a divorce. In this case, it is usually advisable to close all joint cards or cards in your name that your spouse can use. You also should notify your bank to either freeze the account or request that both parties sign for any transactions. Also, make copies of as many financial records as possible.

Does my spouse’s adultery or misconduct affect support and property division? 

One of the hardest concepts for people to understand is that in almost all cases, your spouse’s bad conduct does not affect the financial side of the divorce. Of course, it will have an effect on custody and visitation.

I am afraid that my spouse will move far away with my children. How can I stop that? 

Speaking as a parent, I can say that this is probably the scariest aspect of a divorce: the loss of control over one’s own children.

As with other issues concerning your children, the standard solution is whatever is in the best interests of the child(ren). Any parent must have the court’s permission to relocate. In order to get it, the moving parent must demonstrate that it would be in the best interests of the child, and there must be a powerful reason for relocating. Maybe the parent cannot earn a living here but has a very good job offer elsewhere.

It cannot be that the parent likes warm weather or has a boyfriend/girlfriend somewhere else.

What property of mine will my spouse get? 

Marriage is an economic partnership. Generally speaking, money earned and property acquired during the marriage belongs to both parties. On the other hand, property brought into the marriage, inherited or received as a gift during the marriage is separate.

This is a very simplistic answer to a complicated question, and we will explore it based on your individual facts.

I have no money to hire a lawyer, and I am afraid my spouse will get a lawyer and bully me. What should I do? 

If your spouse earns more than you and has assets, then there can be a way to even the playing field. The court will often order your spouse to pay your lawyer and give you chance to be represented, too.