When you’re going through a divorce, you have a lot to worry about. Usually, the biggest concerns are about finances and custody of the kids.
You can’t predict the outcome of your marital settlement agreement. However, you can be proactive by taking the following steps to protect your family and finances during a divorce.
Protecting Your Family During A Divorce
When kids are involved, divorce is always more complicated. Big changes to your family structure are inevitable. You can help by emotionally supporting your kids during divorce and making smart choices to ensure you reach the best outcome for the whole family.
Try to Maintain Normalcy
Divorce is a big decision, and it’s normal for it to immediately be followed by big changes, like one parent moving out of a shared home. The best way to help your kids through the transition is to do your best to maintain a sense of normalcy. If the divorce is amicable, that might mean continuing to follow your established schedule.
If your divorce isn’t amicable and communication is difficult between you and your spouse, you can still work to minimize changes to your kids’ schedules. For example, if one parent normally takes the kids to soccer practice, that parent should continue to do so.
Avoid Custody Mistakes in the Divorce Agreement
When divorce isn’t amicable, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can affect you obtaining custody. Don’t speak badly to your children about their other parent, withhold support money, or block visiting time or phone calls. Even if things aren’t good between you and your spouse, it’s important to continue to support their relationship with the kids.
Prepare for New Living Arrangements
Part of your marital settlement agreement will involve the practical concerns of child custody. Both parents will need to have living arrangements in which there’s a separate bedroom designated for the children, and each child must have their own bed.
If possible, begin trying to plan for separate living arrangements that can support a shared custody agreement.
Smart Money Moves During Divorce
Aside from child custody, the other biggest divorce concern is finances. You might not even be aware of all of the financial decisions that go into a divorce agreement.
Your agreement should include basic matters like shared bank accounts, property division, and support payments. You may also need to consider financial issues like debt allocation, health and life insurance policies, retirement benefits, and inheritance rights.
Wait on Big Decisions
State laws differ on property ownership after a separation or divorce. However, it’s smart to pause making any big financial decisions until the divorce is complete.
While going through a divorce, you should avoid the following:
- Purchasing new property
- Purchasing new vehicles
- Opening new lines of credit
- Making large financial commitments
To simplify the process, wait until the it is finalized before making these types of large financial commitments.
Maintain the Status Quo for Family Finances
If the divorce isn’t amicable, it’s a good idea to close or freeze joint accounts. If an angry spouse decides to clear out the bank account, there’s little you can do. Freezing joint accounts is the best way to safeguard your finances until the divorce settlement process is complete.
If you’ve been accustomed to financially supporting your spouse or any children, it’s best to continue providing necessary support until the settlement is agreed upon. If children are involved, withholding money necessary for their care won’t look good at your custody hearing.
Don’t Settle Without an Attorney
There are a great many financial matters that are decided in the marital settlement agreement. Whether you and your spouse settle through negotiation or court, it’s important to contact and work with an experienced divorce attorney at Patriot Legal Group to make sure your best interests are protected by a professional.