Divorce is an unfortunate reality that many people face. The divorce process is confusing, and you may find yourself overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. Here are some pointers for navigating through a divorce matter. These are the Dos and Don’ts of Divorce.
- Do retain an attorney.
Divorce law is challenging, and the more assets and debts that you have, the more complicated your case will be. By attempting to represent yourself in your divorce matter, you may find yourself overwhelmed and you may be losing out on money and assets that you are entitled to.
- Don’t drain marital bank accounts.
Whether you have joint savings and/or joint checking accounts, these are marital assets. Marital assets included any assets obtained from the date of your marriage until the date that you separate. Draining a marital bank account will create problems in your divorce matter as you may have to pay back all or some of these funds and could receive sanctions from the court. Bottom line: leave all marital bank accounts alone until they are divided up either by agreement or the divorce master.
- Do try to reach a marriage settlement agreement.
A marriage settlement agreement (MSA) is a contract in which the parties agree on how their marital debts and assets will be divided between them. A MSA is a binding contract once both parties sign it. If you cannot reach an agreement, the divorce master, after a hearing, will determine equitable distribution. Equitable distribution is where the divorce master decides which debts and assets each party is responsible for. Divorce master hearings are like mini-trials and are very expensive. Plus, most likely you do not want a stranger dividing all of your assets and debts. If you can work out a MSA, do so. It will save you time and money.
- Don’t let your emotions dictate your financial decisions.
Divorce matters are contentious and can be emotional roller coasters. It is important to remember that divorce cases are about splitting assets and debts. Although you may have the urge to get revenge on your soon-to-be ex, doing so may put you in a worse position financially. Try to think about your divorce matter in terms of money, so that you come out ahead rather than behind financially. Sometimes litigation may not be in your best interests financially even if you would like a dramatic showdown with your ex.
- Do consider a pre-nuptial agreement in the future.
If you decide that you want to get remarried, you may consider having a pre-nuptial agreement. Pre-nuptial agreements determine what each person is and is not entitled to in the event of divorce. Essentially, it is like a marriage settlement agreement that is drafted before you are married. A pre-nuptial agreement can save you time, money, and frustration.
Whether you need representation in a divorce matter or are thinking about having a pre-nuptial agreement, Mooney Law can assist you with all of your legal needs. Call us today at 833-MOONEYLAW or at 717-200 HELP for a consultation.