Going through a Massachusetts divorce is never easy and with this in mind, you should take steps to prepare yourself and your children financially, legally and physically. Taking steps to protect yourself makes sense and could avoid a whole lot of pain at the same time. If your divorce is an amicable one, then these steps may not be so essential, but if you suspect that the divorce is going to be unpleasant or difficult, you need to ensure that you follow these guidelines.
1. Stay in the family home particularly if you have children. Moving out may go against you later if you apply for custody. In this case, your spouse should move out or you should try to share the house peacefully.
2. Never let your spouse take the children and leave. Make it clear that they can go but the children need to stay in the home with you.
3. Gather together personal papers. Keep safe things like birth certificates, records of ownership of assets such as houses and vehicles, bank statements etc.
4. Cancel credit cards used jointly should be cancelled once you have advised your spouse. Failure to do this can mean that your spouse racks up a bill of thousands of dollars and you will be liable for your share.
5. Inventory marital property. The fastest way to do this is with a still camera/video camera with the date function showing. If your spouse removes anything you will have a record for the courts. Your own personal possessions, not jointly owned should be stored somewhere safe, possibly with family members or friends.
6. Don't sign any papers unless your lawyer advises you to, don't sign anything as it may be something that will impact upon you negatively later. Even if your spouse tries to cajole you into signing, say no, explaining that your attorney has instructed you.
7. Maintain records of any significant incident, threat, or inappropriate behavior by the other spouse that involves your children. Domestic violence can occur when divorces are imminent. You need to protect yourself and your children. If your spouse becomes aggressive or violent, you must call the police and file a restraining order.
8. Obtain important business and financial records so you can make copies and move them to a safe place away from your home.
9. Call on friends and family members to serve as your support system during the divorce.
10. Start a personal checking account in your name, and take steps to ensure that you have good credit.
By being proactive and alert, you can do so many things to protect both yourself and your children in the event of a divorce taking place. Don't leave things to chance and don't trust your spouse to be on your side. You need to think of your children's' future as well as your own. The more practical advice you follow with regard to financial, legal and physical safety, the more chance you have of coming out of the divorce unscathed and intact.
Get an attorney quickly if the divorce cannot be agreed amicably. You will need a professional divorce attorney to represent you and guide you in the right direction. With them by your side, you can be prevented from making serious mistakes.
Call the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.