Divorce can be a complex process, especially in Indiana. There are several actions you should take when filing for divorce, such as creating a record of your assets and obtaining the help of a divorce attorney. However, there are many more things that you cannot and should not do if you are in the process of divorce. Many financial and legal actions can harm your case in the long term, and it is important to be aware of these implications before you act.
Do Not Attempt to Hide Assets
During divorce proceedings, you and your spouse will agree to a division of your marital assets and property. These assets may include retirement accounts, residences, credit card accounts, and investments, among others. When filing for divorce, some people hide or shift assets in an attempt to shield them from their spouses.
Hiding assets to keep them from your spouse is a bad idea, and it is important not to move any assets before speaking to your lawyer. If the court discovers that this occurred, you could face sanctions. The court may order you to pay your spouse his or her share of these hidden assets.
Do Not Add Money to a Joint Account
If you are divorcing your spouse, there is no reason to continue depositing money into your joint account. Indiana measures your divorce assets from the date that you or your spouse files the divorce petition. Anything you earn after the filing is not subject to division. As soon as you file the petition or you receive notice of the impending divorce, open an individual bank account and start depositing your earnings into it.
Do Not Forget to Change Your Will
After a divorce, it is important to change your will as soon as possible. Most people include their spouses in their wills, but after a divorce, it is highly likely that you do not want your spouse to receive the monies and privileges you currently grant them in this document. You can rewrite your will at any time, even if your divorce is still ongoing.
It is important to note that if you pass away before the state finalizes your divorce, your spouse may have options to receive these benefits. If you are still technically married and you left him or her out of your will, your spouse could file a lawsuit to recover part of your estate. However, the court may deny these rights if your spouse had already left the relationship prior to your passing.
Do Not Drain Your Joint Bank Accounts
In addition to avoiding new deposits in a joint account, you should refrain from spending too much. Many people are tempted to purchase large, big-ticket items in an attempt to reduce the value of these joint accounts. However, these actions can harm you in the long term.
The court may determine that you willfully and intentionally intended to reduce the assets your spouse is legally entitled to receive. Also, since Indiana is an equitable division state, the court will take into account each spouse’s spending habits when dividing assets and debts. You may face a more unfavorable divorce agreement than you would have if you did not drain the accounts. Before making a large purchase, consult with your attorney.
If you are filing for divorce in Indiana, you need an attorney on your side. Your lawyer will be available to answer your questions, advise you on , and advocate for your best interests during the divorce proceedings. Once you decide to file or learn that your spouse is filing for divorce, contact an Indianapolis divorce attorney to discuss your case.