You’ve decided to file for a divorce. What financial issues should you be most concerned with during the first few days of your divorce process? Before you file, strategically lay out a plan with your attorney as to how you will handle the finances, and protect the assets of the marriage.
The following are financial issues that should be addressed before (or closely after) you have filed for your divorce.
DO NOT ADD TO YOUR DEBT: Make sure you and your spouse do not acquire new marital debt. It’s hard enough to address division of debt in a divorce, without new debt being created. You certainly do not want more debt to be acquired during the divorce, unless both you and your spouse agree that new debt is necessary.
PRESERVE YOUR CREDIT: Make sure all marital debt is being paid, and being paid on time. Come to a written agreement with your spouse as to how the marital debt will be paid. If you are unable to come to a written agreement, then seek a court order to establish how the marital debt will be paid. It is imperative that this written agreement or court order is signed at the onset of the divorce to ensure on-time payments of the marital debt. You do not need to destroy your credit during the divorce process with failure to pay or late payments.
PROTECT YOUR ASSETS: Even if you and your spouse are getting along, it’s best to enter into a stipulated mutual restraining order to protect your assets and liabilities. If you are unable to agree, your attorney should obtain a mutual restraining order when your divorce case is filed. A mutual restraining order provides protection to both parties by prohibiting parties from disposing or hiding the parties’ assets. By having the court sign a mutual restraining order, it alleviates the concerns that either party may do so legally. A mutual restraining order will protect anything you require it to protect, and can be drafted to meet the specific needs of the parties.
KEEP FINANCES STATUS QUO: The goal is to keep your finances status quo until a temporary or permanent written agreement can be reached. Parties should enter into a temporary order on how the finances will be handled (what bills will be paid, when will they be paid, and who will pay them) until a final agreement can be reached in the divorce case.
GRAND RAPIDS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY SERVING KENT, OTTAWA, AND ALLEGAN COUNTY.
If you filed for divorce, or are considering filing in the near future, contact the Michigan family law attorney at Schmitt Law, PLLC. We have extensive experience handling all types of Michigan divorce cases and the related issues that frequently come up in the divorce process, including spousal support, child custody, and child support. We provide custom-tailored legal advice and solutions for clients. To learn more about how we can help you through the divorce process, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation.