To Protect Yourself In A Divorce
all joint credit cards - Although most credit card
companies do not allow you to cancel the card without
paying the debt in full, you should notify them that you
do not wish any more charges to be placed on the card by
either you or your spouse. Do this in writing and keep a
copy for your files.
Get a credit report - Know what debt is
outstanding at the time of the divorce. You don't want
to obtain a divorce and fail to assign responsibility
for a credit card or other debt, which may cause you to
be responsible for the debt without obtaining relief
from your ex-spouse.
Contact credit card companies to get statements for
the past year or two. You want to know what charges
were put on the credit cards. Are there items of worth
of which you are unaware? Did your spouse purchase
expensive items for a period unrelated to the marriage?
Obtain your own credit card and pay off the balance
monthly and on time. This will establish a pattern
of good credit, which will be essential when you are on
your own. In addition, open your own bank account. Do
not deposit money into a joint account, unless you are
certain your spouse is doing the same.
Contact Brokerage Companies. Write the companies
and notify them that you and your spouse are separated.
Ask the broker not to make any transactions without your
approval. Do this in writing and retain a copy for your
Gather all financial information, bank statements,
financial statements, etc.... Know how much money is
in your marital estate. Know how much is in each account
during the course of the marriage, at the time of
separation and at the time of the divorce proceedings.
This will help you track funds to determine that your
spouse is not hiding funds.
If there is violence in the home, obtain an order of
protection. An order of protection will provide you
a variety of remedies, such as having your spouse
removed from the home, granting one party possession of
the children, setting a visitation schedule, awarding
support and other types or relief. This could be a quick
solution to the otherwise lengthy process of divorce.
If you have children, there may be disagreements
about custody and parenting time, therefore, make sure you keep a
journal. Because custody often hinges on who was the
primary custodian of the children, document everything
such as who wakes the children, makes them breakfast,
takes them to their school and doctor appointments.
Document fights you have with your spouse. Document
discussions you have with the children. Document the
items you purchased for the children. On the other hand,
be careful in who you confide, you do not want to see
your best friend testifying for your soon to be
Do not involve your children in conversations,
arguments or decisions about them. Do not put your
children in the middle of you and your spouse.
Time your divorce properly. If you have been
married to your spouse for ten years and you don't
remarry, you are eligible for benefits from your
ex-spouses Social Security benefits when you both reach
age 62. Also be aware of the tax consequences of
obtaining a divorce before or after the end of the year.
Obtain a good attorney. Do not let your spouse
convince you that you do not need a lawyer. You do need
a lawyer to advise you about the law, your rights and
your best interests. Do not let your spouse convince you
that you can use the same lawyer. This is not true, as
one attorney cannot represent two parties to a divorce
as it is a conflict of interest. Any attorney hired by
your spouse will be looking out for your spouses' and
not your best interests. You may be giving up rights you
didn't even know you had. Find an attorney with whom you
are comfortable. Take notes when you talk to your
lawyer. When you have questions or ideas, write those
down to discuss with your attorney. The more organized
you are, the less time you will take with your attorney,
and the less expensive the process may be.
The Law Office of Marjorie Sher, P.C.
415 W. Washington Street, Suite 201
Waukegan, IL 60085
website is designed for general informational purposes only
The information presented at this site should not be construed
to be formal
legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.