During a divorce, you might have a hard enough time taking care of yourself and staying calm - not to mention managing the slew of paperwork and errands that are required when splitting a household. Unfortunately, forgetting some of the essentials could significantly impact your future. Here are three things people typically forget to do during divorces and why you should make a point to remember.
1. Locate Assets
Over the course of your married life, chances are good that you accumulated your fair share of property, insurance policies, and financial resources. However, when you are in a hurry or worried about other aspects of your divorce, you might overlook everything except for your house, your cars, and your joint checking and savings accounts.
Because divorce can be so complex, dishonest parties can easily hide assets if you're not careful. Your soon-to-be-ex might be tempted to temporarily lend their favorite belongings to a friend or withdraw some of your commonly-owned cash to stash in a safe deposit box for a few months. You must remember to locate your assets before and during your divorce so you can keep everything fair, financially.
Before you file official paperwork, take the time to make copies of things like paystubs, retirement statements, and property appraisals. Make a list of known assets and liabilities, including income properties, additional checking and savings accounts, and stock options. During your divorce, track things carefully to make sure everything stays above board.
If you suspect your spouse of trying to hide assets, ask your lawyer to look into the matter. Hiding assets during a divorce case is punishable by law and could lead to consequences like fines, lost cases, or even jail time.
2. Change Beneficiaries
When you were married, you likely listed your spouse as your beneficiary everywhere from insurance policies to the deed on your house. No laws exist that prevent divorced spouses from claiming assets that belong to their ex, so you need to update your beneficiaries. If you forget, this could allow your ex-spouse to profit from your untimely death, home sale, or better insurance rates.
As you look through your financial statements, try to determine which accounts have your spouse listed as the beneficiary or joint account holder. Although some lawyers recommend leaving your spouse on your policy until the divorce is finalized, you should remove that person as soon as the divorce is final to avoid financial implications.
Keep in mind that things like insurance policies can be updated to remove exes at any time of the year, even if it isn't currently the open enrollment period. Talk with your employer's human resources professional about how to update things like retirement accounts and direct deposit forms so you won't have to worry about your ex having claim on your hard-earned money.
3. Curb Social Media Posts
At the end of a long day dealing with your soon-to-be-ex, you might be ready to kick back, post a few comments on social media, and start a conversation about what you were thinking when you married him or her. Unfortunately, since social media posts, texts, and even profiles can be used in divorce court, posting could harm your ability to win your case.
Before you start the divorce process, consider deleting your social media accounts or severely limiting who has access to your comments, pictures, and profiles. Remember that even professional networks can be detrimental to your case, since they could show things like job histories, coworkers, and comments about your day-to-day activities.
Divorcing your spouse can be stressful, but with the right lawyer, things can become a lot easier. Here at the office of Paula D Perez, Attorney At Law, our entire team is committed to making your legal proceedings as streamlined as possible. To learn more about family law, visit us on line today.