Every marriage is not meant to last forever. No matter what the reasoning behind the divorce, it is important to have legal representation for each side. I almost lost everything because my former spouse said that he was taking care of things and that he would be fair about how the assets were divided. It took several weeks for me to find out what he was up to. It was then that I hired my own attorney and got what I deserved. You should never attempt to go through a divorce without a lawyer working on your side. On my site, I have listed several of the issues that can get overlooked if you are inexperienced with divorce documents and proceedings.
If you're contemplating a divorce, you may be worried that your spouse will take everything and leave you with nothing. Most of the time, such threats have no legal basis; they have little to do with the law, and more to do with control and fear. To avoid being frightened away from following through with a divorce plan, you should learn more about your legal rights. Knowledge is power, and if you understand the untruth behind the below threats, you can better protect yourself.
"I'll Take the Children….And You'll Never See Them Again!"
This threat isn't just hateful, it's untrue. Family law bases custody decisions on the best interests of the children, not the parent who can make the biggest fuss. Courts assume that both parents should be equally involved in custody and decision-making, and one parent must prove that the other is unfit before that parent's authority can be taken away.
"I'll Take Everything and You'll be Left with Nothing!"
This is another control tactic used by a spouse who's desperate and afraid. Some states have community property laws, which means that marital assets belong to both spouses. The only conceivable way you could end up losing everything is if you sign all your rights away. If your spouse can prove that a particular asset was theirs before marriage, or that it was gained by inheritance or gift, it's theirs alone—but everything else is half yours.
Family codes mandate a fair and equitable division of marital property. The split may not necessarily be 50/50; the jury or judge can divide property differently if there's a history of abandonment or domestic violence. Even if you've been unfaithful, you may think that your infidelity will give them a larger share of the marital assets. However, most states don't favor the wronged spouse in matters of property division.
"I'll Sell or Destroy Property Just to Keep You from Having It!"
Of all the threats a vindictive spouse could make, this one's the most realistic. If a spouse has threatened to hide, give away, or destroy property to prevent you from getting it, you may need a legal way to prevent them from doing so. When filing for divorce, consider requesting a TRO (temporary restraining order) that prohibits either spouse from getting rid of monetary and physical assets. If your spouse violates a TRO, you can sue for the value of the asset and for court costs, and you'll likely be awarded a a larger share of the marital assets.
"I'll Hurt the Kids or You if You Leave!"
This threat is also genuine, but what your spouse may not realize is that it's very difficult to carry out such a threat and get away with it. Just as in matters of asset liquidation, you can request a TRO that gives you and your children some protection. If there's a history of domestic violence in your marriage, you may want to seek professional help in forming a safety plan. No court order can offer 100% protection, but a TRO will let you have your spouse physically removed from the property if the order is violated.
Filing for divorce can be a scary prospect, especially if your spouse has threatened you or there's a history of domestic violence. By learning your state's marital property laws, and by learning your rights where assets and child custody are concerned, you can exit a difficult marriage while protecting yourself, your children and your finances. Talk to a lawyer like Lisa J Kleinberg for more information.