Divorce can be a devastating financial event. Families are often forced to support two households with the same income they previously supported only one. While the pandemic may force some couples to stay married, for financial reasons, when they may have otherwise divorced, once they crisis is over, more couples to consider divorce. In order to minimize any financial setbacks that a divorce may cause, it is important to plan the divorce, rather than beginning the process for emotional reasons or reacting when your spouse files for divorce.
Are you Being Watched?
Those who own and use smartphones are likely aware of the lack of real privacy present in today’s world. These issues are particularly relevant in family law cases. Family law attorneys see many forms of “spying,” perhaps most often involving tracking devices attached to vehicles. These devices are nondescript and easy to attach to a car or truck. Another issue family law attorneys see is the tracking of a spouse’s location through a cell phone by another spouse. If spouses share a cell phone plan, further monitoring may also be possible.
Surveillance, or fear of being under surveillance, may have emotional detrimental effects on an individual and their divorce case. The constant feeling of being watched can, unsurprisingly, cause paranoia and anxiety. What can a family law litigant do to protect him or herself? Abstaining from social media, obtain a new phone on a new cell phone plan and creating a new email address are all reasonable precautions for one going through a divorce. In some cases, having your vehicle expected for tracking devices or having an expert check a phone or home for surveillance programs or devices may also be prudent. There is, however, a fine line between taking proper precautions and being overly paranoid.
Are There Signs that a Spouse May be Preparing for a Divorce
Although it happens it occasionally happens, a divorce rarely arises without some red flags. It’s important to look for the warning signs so that you are prepared in the event your spouse is considering a divorce. Here are some possible signs:
- You haven’t worked for years and your spouse suddenly suggests that you need to get a job “for your own sake.” This is a sure sign that your spouse has consulted with a lawyer and learned about Nevada alimony law. Your spouse was likely advised to hold off filing the divorce as long as possible until you become employed in order to mitigate his or her alimony exposure.
- If your spouse had little time or interest in parenting before and is now interested in meeting the children’s teachers, going to school activities and doctors’ appointments, this is a good sign that your spouse has consulted with a lawyer and is attempting to make a case for joint custody of the children. In many cases, the motivation for joint custody is to decrease a child support obligation.
- If your spouse starts closing joint credit card accounts, it could be a sign that your spouse is trying to limit your spending and decrease your potential need for alimony.
- If you start noticing unusual activity at the ATM, this could be a sign that your spouse is attempting to “siphon” off money to obtain a divorce lawyer, or is attempting to put aside cash that he or she may not account for during the divorce.
- If your spouse is suddenly going to the gym (without you), is losing weight, purchasing new stylish clothes, or staying out late at night, this could be the sign that your spouse is having an affair and may be preparing for a divorce. You know your spouse better than anyway and if you have a gut feeling that something is going on because there is a significant different in personality or lifestyle, there is a good chance something is going on.
If you feel that your spouse is considering divorce and may be filing for divorce, the best thing you can do is to have a consultation with a family law attorney who can explain your rights and help take preventive actions to protect yourself in the event of a divorce.
What to Do If You Are Considering A Divorce
If you suspect your spouse is going to file for divorce, or you are considering filing for divorce yourself, here are five things you should:
- Seek legal advice. Whether you actually follow through with a divorce or not, it’s wise to obtain legal advice to know where you stand and how you may potentially advance your position in the event of divorce.
- Stop using social media. You will be best served by at least temporarily deactivating any social media accounts. Nothing good can happen by using social media before or during a divorce. You should also change your email passwords and consider creating a new email address.
- Obtain a credit report. Be sure you are aware of any outstanding debts or credit issues that you or your spouse may have.
- Compile financial documents. Copy any tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, retirement statements and credit card statements. The more documents available to show your lawyer, the better advised you will be.
- Have a reserve. Have a cash reserve or available credit on a credit card, whether to hire a lawyer, or being able to pay your personal expenses in the event that becomes necessary.