What Can You Not Do During a Divorce?By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
If you are considering filing for divorce, or are already going through the process, then you are probably aware of the countless tasks that need to be completed. This to-do list can include dividing assets, making new living arrangements, and deciding on custody and child support matters if children are involved. However, it is also crucial to be aware of actions that you cannot, or should not, take in a divorce to avoid legal challenges and prevent complications as you continue through the process.
Do Not Deplete or Dispose of Any Marital Assets
Any assets accumulated during the marriage are considered marital assets and are subject to distribution between you and your spouse. Assets are “title blind,” meaning that even if an asset is in your name, courts may still recognize it as marital property if it was acquired during the marriage. If you make any big purchases or throw away any valuable items during the divorce process, the courts may find that you intentionally dwindled your marital assets, which can lead to legal ramifications.
Do Not Incur Debt in Your Spouse’s Name
Increasing debt or incurring new debt using a joint bank account can cause problems with the court. Doing so will almost always create further complications in the proceedings and may result in you becoming solely responsible for the debt.
Do Not Fail to File Taxes Correctly
If you need to file taxes during the divorce process, ensure you file them accurately. You may be able to file a joint return because the divorce is not yet finalized. If that option is not available, you may classify yourself as married but filing separately. Failing to correctly adjust your marital status can have serious consequences with the IRS.
Do Not Receive a Criminal Charge
Any criminal charges can play a significant role in the determination of custody and alimony. Your partner can cite criminal history as a reason to deny custody or limit visitation with your child. Courts look to the best interests of the child when determining custody, so they typically see a criminal charge as a negative factor. Similarly, alimony can be altered if one of the parties has a criminal charge.
Do Not Post About Your Divorce on Social Media
Although it may be tempting to post updates, photos, and messages during your divorce to social media platforms, any information put out onto the web can be cited in a court hearing. A seemingly harmless photo may be used by your spouse to attack your character or claim you do not create a safe environment for your child.
Do Not Delete Any Communication Between You and Your Spouse
It may be beneficial to keep a record of any text messages, emails, and other communication that can be used as evidence later on in the divorce process. These communications can come into play if you need to support a claim that your spouse is abusive or otherwise dangerous to the wellbeing of you or your children.
Do Not Provide Inaccurate Information to the Courts
Giving false or otherwise inaccurate information to the courts can result in serious legal consequences. Most commonly, this includes hiding assets, debts or other finances. You are under oath during the divorce process, so failing to give accurate information may result in perjury and other charges.
Do Not Represent Yourself in a Divorce
Representing yourself may be the primary mistake to avoid during your divorce. Strict procedural and timing requirements, information gathering, and negotiating skills are just a few of the roadblocks that may stand in your way if you represent yourself during these proceedings. An experienced attorney could submit the proper paperwork in a timely manner, bring to light all information pertinent to the divorce, and fight for your fair share of marital property.
Understanding what actions to avoid during your divorce process can not only save you from legal trouble but may reduce complications and speed up the process. The list above is not exhaustive, and there are many other actions that can be avoided to benefit your divorce case. To learn more, contact the Moskowitz Law Group today for an initial consultation.