Fighting over marital assets is not that unusual once a contested divorce picks up steam. Both parties want to protect their rights to joint property and neither party truly trusts the other spouse. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect your property and keep your spouse from absconding with valuable items, you may accidentally go overboard and end up damaging your case. Knowing ways to protect marital property without crossing the line allows you to protect what is rightfully yours without damaging your credibility or your chances of receiving a fair divorce settlement.
Create a Visual Inventory
In the past, inventories were usually written lists created by one or both parties going through a divorce. Today it is possible to create a visual inventory that makes sure both adults know exactly what they have, what condition it was in at the time the divorce was filed, and where the item was last seen. According to recent surveys approximately 77% of adults have smartphones, meaning that you, your spouse, or someone close to you has access to a handheld recorder that can be used to record marital property in your home. This allows you to document what you both own without moving it from the property or worrying about your spouse removing it and denying that the property was ever in the home.
Freeze Joint Accounts with the Help of an Attorney
Many adults fear that a spouse will either go on a spending spree with joint credit cards or drain joint bank accounts, leaving them with nothing. To avoid this, some divorcing adults make a preemptive strike, draining accounts on their own without realizing that doing this can lead to more problems. Instead of making major decisions on your own without warning your spouse, talk to a divorce attorney about your options. It may be possible for you to freeze joint accounts, establish separate accounts, and access some of your joint funds.
Talk to a Mediator
Before things devolve into a legal dispute that takes months or years to resolve, try reaching out to a mediator early in the divorce process. A skilled mediator can help you and your spouse discuss the best ways to divide joint assets giving you both an opportunity to bargain or barter for things that are most important to each person. Remember, the longer your divorce goes on, the more resources are used, often reducing the value of your marital property. Coming to an agreement sooner rather than later helps both parties leave the marriage with a larger share of joint assets.
Take the First Step
Reaching out to a qualified division of property attorney is the first step in reaching a settlement agreement that will help you move on with your life. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are standing by to negotiate on your behalf to make sure you leave the marriage with the settlement that you deserve. With offices located throughout Atlanta, we are here to discuss your case and give you the legal advice you need. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule an initial consultation.