During the process of divorce, many parties are often concerned with how they should behave. Being on your best behavior is easier said than done, but here are a few things you should consider refraining from in the duration of the divorce.
Dating during a divorce seems ideal: you’re stressed, lonely, and want to move on already, but altogether dating should be avoided. Regardless of your spouse has committed adultery before, if you begin during the duration of your divorce you have committed adultery too. This, in turn, can have negative implications on your case. To consider for one, your spouse may try retaliating by being more difficult to deal with as an opposing party. It can hurt the outcome of your case as well, “adultery” as a fault in a divorce can influence property distribution, spousal support, even the parenting arrangement. On the topic of a parenting arrangement, it is important to consider how your children will be affected as well. During a divorce, caring for your mental health is important, but children feel the effects of divorce too. Your kids deserve more time and attention from you and helping heal their hurt is more important than dating.
Secondly, you should reconsider having to move out of the marital home, unless it is necessary where cases of domestic violence have occurred. Moving out during a divorce can have emotional and financial effects. Living together is the most cost-effective method. Under one roof marital resources are pooled to provide. On the other hand, when a spouse leaves resources are no longer pooled, and instead are doubled. New rent or mortgages, utility bills, and various other living expenses are just several extra expenses to consider when moving out. If there are children in the marriage, transportation of the children, and even extra rooms for children will require even more expenses.
Next, spousal spying is something that should be avoided during a divorce as well. Many people think they will be getting an advantage by spying on their spouse, but it can not only be offensive but also illegal and possibly a marital tort. A few reasons why a spouse would consider spying can include because they believe the other spouse is drinking or using drugs, having an affair, or monitoring their spouse’s spending habits. It is important to know how to protect yourself if you believe you are being spied on. Your social media accounts should be the first thing you monitor since they can give away a lot of your private information, and all passwords need to be changed. It would be wise also to get a new cell phone as well since many phone carriers make it easy for people within the same plan to know what another is doing. Regarding video and audio recording, you are legally able to record only conversations that you are a part of without the permission of your spouse. It is illegal to bug your spouse to record conversations that you are not a part of. This is the same rule for using cameras in the home, any conversations in which you are part is allowed. Regarding video surveillance, you cannot record private areas of the home, including bathrooms or bedrooms.
Assets are a big part of a divorce since the marital assets must be divided. To get an advantage over the other spouse some spouses will hide their assets or even ask their lawyer for assistance to help them hide assets. A lawyer will be of no help, however, because your lawyer has a duty not to engage in conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Hiding assets can come in several forms that may include, hiding income, transferring money to other accounts, putting money in offshore accounts, overpaying taxes, or sneakily investing money. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets some common red flags may include refusing to share financial information, diverting mail, noticing a decrease in your spouse’s income, and controlling behavior. A sworn inventory and appraisement that lists all marital assets and debts is a required form in the process of discovery in Texas. This form is sworn under oath that all marital assets and debts have been disclosed, and it is important to know your rights about what can be done when assets are being hidden. Having an experienced attorney is important to understand what legal recourse you are given if you believe your spouse is hiding assets.
Wasting assets goes hand in hand with hiding assets. In a marriage, you have a fiduciary duty to your spouse, which means that you have the legal obligation to act in the best interest of your spouse. Wasting assets can take many forms including going on a spending spree. Wasting assets can give rise to a claim in wasted assets, even more, why it’s important not to engage in any wasteful spending. Fraud on the community property can be either actual or constructive. To prove actual fraud, the spouse asserting the claim has the burden of proof to show the other spouse transferred community property under malicious intent. In contrast, in constructive fraud the burden of proof shifts to the opposing party. With this shifted burden, they must prove that the expenditures and transfers of marital funds or assets were done in the best interest of the other spouse.
Lastly, another thing that should be avoided altogether is engaging in revenge porn. Revenge porn occurs when intimate pictures or videos are posted online or shared through text messages, etc. The rising epidemic of revenge porn was hit with a response by the Texas Legislature in 2015 which passed new statutes in relation. What’s worse is that revenge porn can bring both civil and criminal consequences for people who have engaged in it. Criminally, it is governed by the Texas Penal Code section 21.16, and civilly, governed by CPRC Ch. 98B. This means that victims of revenge porn can be remedied through both financial damages and by having the person who posted or distributed the porn criminally responsible. Embarrassing your spouse through revenge porn is not taken lightly, and therefore you should consider the legal repercussions you can face.
Many people engage in these acts not knowing the effects they can have on your divorce case. Being informed and having legal advice on your rights if you believe any of these acts are being done against you is important. The next time you consider what you can and cannot do during a divorce, you will be well informed to help protect you during the divorce process.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Attorneys
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Attorneys right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce attorneys in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.