Gather all the information you can about your assets and move those assets you feel are in danger. Consult an attorney to understand the laws of property division in your state.
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Things you need
- Safe-deposit Boxes
- Attorney Referral Services
Meet with an attorney and learn about the laws in your state concerning property division. Get specific advice for how to handle your particular unique situation.
Gather all the records you can find that detail bank accounts, pensions, investments, expensive items, and the value of your home and vehicles and any other large important things you own. Make a list of other assets that exist and describe them. This will be proof for the court of what the marital assets are.
Secure items such as deeds, vehicle titles, jewelry and expensive collections in a safe deposit box.
Find out if your spouse has taken things and make a list of what is missing.
Have valuations performed on expensive items such as houses, antiques and jewelry. This will provide you with proof of the fair market value of the items.
Remove any powers of attorney you have given your spouse to assets that are in your name alone. Destroy any general powers of attorney you may have signed, giving your spouse the right to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters.
Cancel any joint credit cards. You are liable to the company for any amounts charged on the card whether or not you made the purchase.
Consider closing out all joint bank accounts and investments. Talk to an attorney about the laws in your state about this. If you believe your spouse may take those assets and spend or hide them, then you are probably safe in removing them with an intent to preserve them. It is always legal for you and your spouse to close such accounts together and divide them between yourselves.
Obtain a restraining order preventing your spouse from taking or spending marital assets. You will probably need an attorney to do so.
Tips and warnings
- Try not to become obsessed with material goods and money. People often focus on getting every dime they can in a divorce. In the long run, it may be best to think about your children and your emotional health.
- If your divorce case has already been filed, remember that all of your assets are under the control and scrutiny of the court.
- It is probably illegal in your state for you to hide assets and fail to disclose them during your divorce.