When married couples decide to get a divorce, they often start living separate lives immediately. In many cases, one person moves out, perhaps staying with friends or even renting an apartment. If you have found yourself in this or a similar situation, remember that you and your soon-to-be ex are still financially connected and that your spouse’s spending or other financial decisions could damage your credit or even result in debts of which you are completely unaware. For this reason, keep track of your finances during the months leading up to your divorce.
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself while your divorce is pending.
If you and your spouse have joint bank accounts, watch them closely. Upset husbands and wives may lavishly spend joint assets to get back at their spouses while they still can. This type of spending often takes the form of impromptu trips, expensive meals and nights out, vacations, or new and expensive clothing.
Your spouse could potentially ruin your credit. Consider the following scenario: You and your spouse purchased a home together and are both named on the mortgage. After you move out, your spouse simply stops paying the mortgage without your knowledge. This could result in serious delinquencies showing up on your credit report that could damage your ability to rent an apartment, get a credit card, or even open a bank account—all of which you need to do to move on with your life after a divorce.
If you have a credit card on which your spouse is an authorized user, or you have a joint credit card account, carefully review your statements each month to ensure that your spouse isn’t racking up significant debts. In addition, ask your credit card company to alert you to any unusual activity.
If your spouse recklessly spends your assets, talk to an attorney as soon as you can. Under Connecticut law, courts can adjust the division of property to account for the dissipation of assets on the part of one spouse. In addition, if you discover the dissipation of assets, you may obtain a court order prohibiting either of you from taking actions that would leave a significant impact on your financial situations.
Divorce can take a toll on your finances, particularly if your spouse engages in spiteful or reckless behavior. At Piazza, Simmons & Grant, we work closely with our clients and take the time to explain the divorce process along every step of the way. To schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney in Stamford, call our office today at (203) 348-2465 or send us an email through our online contact form.