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How can I protect my assets and property?

While even the most amicable of divorces can be challenging to get through, a hostile divorce can feel nearly impossible. A hostile divorce is when your ex is purposefully and knowingly doing things — or not doing things — to make the divorce process harder or to “punish” you. Examples would include destroying property, using up assets or depleting bank accounts.

If you anticipate or are already in the midst of a situation like this, it’s important to talk with a family law attorney as soon as possible. While the courts do not look favorably upon one person draining a bank account just to keep the other person from having access to the funds through the divorce, the reality is that you will need financial security now more than ever. You may not be able to wait until the divorce is settled to get the money back. An attorney can help you understand and explore any options you may have for protecting joint accounts.

Another important thing to do as soon as possible is to gather copies of all of the financial records. Statements of accounts, a list of credit cards and other debts, and titles to vehicles or real estate property are all things you may want to secure if you are worried about your ex trying to destroy property or documentation.

It may be a good idea to get a safety deposit box in your name only or rent a storage unit to store valuables and personal possessions that you don’t want to risk being damaged or destroyed by your ex. Finally, remember to try to keep calm and let the courts handle as much as possible to avoid engaging in your ex’s negative behavior.

Source: For Dummies, “Safeguarding Your Money if You Anticipate a Hostile Divorce,” accessed May 06, 2016

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