A lot of things can happen during the end of a marriage that make people angry, but it's important not to lose sight of your end goals before you act on your anger. A momentary act of retaliation against your spouse for whatever he or she has done can end up hurting you in the end. You could end up damaging your own financial situation and custody case. Here are a three things that you don't want to do during your divorce if you want to come out of it with your finances and custody intact.
1) Try to get your spouse fired.
You may know something that could cause you spouse big problems at work. Maybe you know that he lied on his resume or maybe she falsified a doctor's letter so she could take a week's worth of sick leave instead of using her vacation time last summer. Whatever it is that you know, giving into the temptation to cause your spouse some personal embarrassment at work could hurt you financially if your spouse loses his or her job over the issue.
If you're expecting child support or spousal support because your spouse was the primary wage earner in the household, his or her job loss could be devastating to your future income. If the issue is big enough, he or she may end up having a hard time finding another job at the same salary—which means that any support you receive would be drastically lowered. If you're working, you could even end up being the one making support payments, especially if the job loss occurs before the divorce is final.
2) Take all of the money.
If you clean out the bank accounts and cancel all of the credit cards, you could find yourself pulled into court for an emergency hearing. A judge can order you to return some of the money, pay your spouse's regular household bills, and even pay his or her attorney fees if necessary. If your spouse is the primary caretaker of the children, you could be accused of abandonment, for leaving the kids without enough money to cover their basic needs. That could seriously impact any custody decision by the judge down the line.
3) Pack up the kids and leave.
This is one of those things that people sometimes do without thinking about how the situation could be perceived by a judge—especially if they pack up the kids and move out of state. When you're angry and hurt, it may be especially tempting to retreat someplace else, especially if you have family or friends that are willing to provide you with a place to stay and help. However, that could lead to a serious, immediate custody fight and accusations of parental kidnapping.
Even if your intention was just to get away from your spouse, the judge could view that as a purposeful attempt on your part to take your children away from your spouse and interfere with his or her parental rights. That could cause the judge to turn primary custody of the children over to your spouse and even limit you to supervised visitation until the court is sure that you won't go off with them again.
Before you take any sort of extreme action, keep in mind how you may have to explain your actions in court. If you have any question about whether or not it's a good idea to do something, talk to an attorney, such as those at Nichols, Speidel, & Nichols.
When my spouse decided to divorce me, I realized that I really needed to work with a professional attorney. I started looking around for great general attorneys who would be willing to take the case, and I was able to find a great team that I felt good about working with. They were intelligent, hard working, and had been in business for years and years. This blog is all about working with an awesome lawyer who can help you to get a fair settlement in court. Check out these blogs for important tips on finding and working with an attorney.