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Reasons to restrict financial decisions before a divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Divorce |

You know that a divorce will entail separating your finances from your spouse’s. This is unlikely to be a simple or quick process, so you may want to get a head start on things. However, making major changes to your bank accounts, assets and estate plans before your divorce starts may cause problems.

Remember that the process of divorce is where you and your spouse will make your decisions regarding your respective financial futures. Taking those decisions into your own hands could cause legal retribution against you.

Curtail certain decisions until the divorce

You may want to make any changes to your assets, like taking your spouse out of your will or removing your spouse’s name from beneficiary designations on your retirement account or your life insurance policy. Other options may include separating your spouse from your bank account or a home mortgage.

The problem is that divorce judges want to make sure both spouses receive fair treatment in property division. Removing your spouse from your financial accounts may make it look like you are trying to deprive your wife or husband of receiving assets. Nerdwallet explains that a judge may hold you in contempt or award your spouse a greater share of assets than if you had put off these decisions until the divorce.

Be careful about spending

You may also run into trouble if you spend too much money shortly before your divorce. A judge may think you are trying to waste assets so your spouse cannot receive them. If possible, you should not alter your spending habits and perhaps even limit your spending since you will need money for your divorce expenses.

If you have an amicable relationship with your spouse, it may help to mutually set aside money for your respective divorce costs. In the event relations are sour between you two, you might seek a legal separation that can help dictate how much money the two of you can spend before the completion of your divorce.