Many times in a Massachusetts divorce, one spouse will have to leave the house and live elsewhere while the case is pending.
Sometimes that spouse will leave without taking furniture or personal items with the intention of getting them later.
Unfortunately, more often than not, items left behind that you want will disappear. You can accuse the other spouse of throwing them away, but all he or she will have to say is, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have them.”
If you know the divorce is coming, it’s time to start protecting your assets. Even if you don’t think your spouse will take anything, it’s a good idea to protect yourself just in case.
Here are some tips to help when you decide to get divorced and move out of your marital home:
1. Make an inventory.
Go through the house and take pictures and a video record of everything in the house and make an inventory of everything there. You’re going to need that for your attorney anyway. Most importantly, remove all important documents, treasured photographs and personal items and take them to your office or leave them with a friend for safekeeping. If you can’t remove the documents, then make copies of them.
You should also include a shot of that day’s newspaper, noting the date, so your spouse can’t claim the inventory was made earlier than it really was.
Your spouse might also let the house fall into disrepair, or there might be some damage to the home, which could lower its value.
2. Secure your personal information.
Change your passwords for all your online accounts so your spouse can’t go through them. Get a post office box and start having your mail sent there to keep your mail from disappearing.
3. Keep track of your credit.
If your spouse is paying certain bills that are in your name or both your names, stay on top them and make sure they’re being paid. It’s a good idea to subscribe to a credit reporting service that will e-mail you every time there are changes to your credit. If you find that your spouse quit paying certain bills, you’ll quickly know this so you can take steps to minimize the damage.
4. Use your attorney to protect assets.
You can also utilize your attorney to make sure that the marital assets are listed and protected through injunctions.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.