Long before the divorce process begins, you may already have thoughts in your head about it, especially because one party will be at fault for the divorce. There are some important ways you may want to begin preparing and protecting yourself before the divorce?
If you believe you will be filing your divorce on an at-fault grounds like adultery, you will need to begin collecting evidence that can prove your reason for wanting a divorce. Direct evidence is evidence that can first-handily prove your spouse has committed adultery such as photos, videos, or your spouse’s confession to committing adultery. Another type of evidence is known as circumstantial evidence which is indirect evidence that the judge can use to deduce your spouse has been having an affair. Circumstantial evidence includes things like bank statements, phone records, or texts and emails. Having evidence to prove adultery is important if you are requesting a disproportionate share of the community estate.
Next to protecting all social media and bank accounts are extremely important to do before you file for a divorce. Social media forums are your spouse’s best way to keep up with what you are doing, and it is important to take the precautionary measures, so your spouse does not attempt to hack into these accounts. Tidying up your accounts is good for a start because you could have damaging pictures or posts that may end up hurting you unless you deactivate some accounts. You should change all passwords to something unpredictable that has not been used before. The same goes for all PIN numbers to debit cards, and passwords to bank account applications or websites.
It is also important that any communications or mail not be intercepted during the divorce proceeding, which is why changing your mailing address and creating a separate email address can offer protection for you. You will need a reliable means of communication between you and your lawyer and using a mailing address or email address your spouse has access too can disrupt communications. There are many free email providers you can use, and a work email is not recommended. This is because that email is owned by your employer and your employer, under the law, can be subject to a subpoena by your spouse’s attorney. All email communications will then be accessible through the subpoena.
Protecting your credit is important as well. By obtaining a credit report, any unknown debts will be brought to your attention rather than later. It is not uncommon for a spouse to secure loans or credit cards with their spouse’s name and credit. Therefore, you should jump on protecting your credit by removing your spouse as an authorized user from any credit card. An authorized user can charge on any accounts but are not responsible for the debt they charge. There are many free credit monitoring services you can enroll in to help alert you about any changes to your credit report.
Discussing credit, it is also important that you continue to pay the minimum amounts of any financial obligations you have like mortgage payments, credit card payments, and other financial obligations. You may be tempted to stop paying if your spouse is not upholding her end, but this can end up hurting your credit more in the long run. You could potentially default on your mortgage, having your home repossessed, and leave you without a home and losing any equity you acquired in the home.
Next, it is important to keep a calendar or timeline of events that will eventually become important in your divorce. Keeping track of visits you and your spouse have with your children, fights between you and your wife, appointments with your attorney, and even court dates. There are apps you can take advantage of. However, if you have a smartphone, backing up information where your spouse has access to the account can give her access to all calendars and notes you have been keeping.
Changing your will and beneficiaries may be important to consider having done if you are heading towards a divorce. It’s a tough topic of conversation, but if you were to die today your spouse may be entitled to everything. If you do not have a will, getting a simple will is important. If you have a current will, it is important to update beneficiaries of your will with all your financial institutions.
It is also important to begin handling any joint accounts you and your spouse may have to avoid being left with nothing. Joint accounts leave both parties with access to the accounts, and it is not uncommon for a spouse to drain all joint accounts. This also means in return, that you should not leave your spouse with anything either. It may be logical to open a separate account but to withdraw no more than half of the money from joint accounts. This should be enough for you to survive on in the meantime and leave your spouse and children with money to survive on as well. It is also important to open a bank account a separate bank, rather than one that you and your spouse have used before.
Next, you should consider having a complete physical done for many reasons. A divorce is one of the most stressful times in one’s life and maintaining your physical and mental health equally as important. Your physical health is also a factor considered by the court for issues like custody and maintenance. If you suspect that your wife has committed adultery, you must get a check-up regardless to be certain you have not caught a sexually transmitted disease. Knowing if you have contracted an STD is important to know because your spouse can be required to pay the expenses of any treatments.
Gathering information, not just to prove any at fault grounds for the divorce, is important for the divorce as well. Gathering important financial documents that will be admissible in court may be important to gather before the divorce begins because those documents may become harder to gather once the divorce proceeding begins. Such important documents can be any relating to real estate, credit and bank statements, loan statements, income tax returns, paycheck stubs for both parties, etc. Having all this financial information beforehand is important because any asset you believe is nonmarital is your burden to prove.
Knowing how to prepare for your divorce before the filing is just as important to the actual proceeding itself. It is the time to gather all evidence and documents that may otherwise not be available during the proceeding. Preparation for a divorce can help you build a strong case against your spouse if you are requesting a disproportionate share of the community estate or if you are attempting to prove your partner is at fault for the divorce.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyers
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 Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact 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.