4 Things NOT to Do While Going Through a Divorce
For any Michigan couple, a divorce can be a stressful and challenging legal process. Depending on how complex your finances are, your divorce can take many months to resolve. Whenever you involve child custody arrangements, the stakes can be much higher.
Michigan has strict laws when it comes to dissolving marriages. Because divorce involves many moving parts, you should engage in responsible behavior to avoid jeopardizing the proceedings for yourself and your spouse.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s important you know what things to avoid while the courts finalize the process.
1. Don’t Start a Business or Purchase Property
Even if you’ve already separated from your spouse and filed a petition in court, you’re still legally married until a judge says otherwise. Under Michigan law, assets and businesses acquired during a marriage are considered community property.
When you acquire significant assets while still married, you risk having to split or sell these as part of a divorce settlement. It’s never wise to risk this, so you should wait until your divorce is signed and decide before making any major financial moves.
2. Avoid Incurring Unusual Debts or Liabilities
In Michigan, debts are considered equally divisible under divorce law. Even if you take out a credit card under your name alone, you and your spouse are still responsible for splitting those marital debts as part of the divorce settlement.
Often, one spouse will take out a new line of credit or a loan thinking the debt will be split. Unfortunately, courts see these actions in a negative light, and reckless financial decisions are likely to backfire, especially whenever these are kept from your spouse.
3. Never Destroy, Alter, or Hide Documents
Both spouses must legally submit complete financial disclosures in a Michigan divorce.
Destroying or altering relevant documents related to your assets, finances, or business is illegal and can result in legal consequences. Whenever you are caught tampering with evidence related to a divorce, a judge has broad discretion to impose sanctions as they see fit.
The same goes for assets. You should never attempt to hide money or property from the courts.
4. Don’t File for Bankruptcy
You should avoid filing for bankruptcy if you’re currently involved in divorce proceedings.
Because bankruptcy is a complex financial process, a simultaneous divorce can cause complications. A key component in a divorce is the division of assets and debts. When you file for bankruptcy, your assets will likely become frozen while the process resolves. Your divorce cannot generally move forward while you have a pending bankruptcy case.
Depending on your financial circumstances, you should file for bankruptcy before or after resolving a divorce.
Family Law Attorneys in Oakland County
A divorce in Michigan takes time, no matter how simple you expect it to be.
On top of mandatory waiting periods, the discovery process needs to be meticulous to ensure your rights and assets are protected. If you’re thinking about divorce, contact Gucciardo Family Law today. Our dedicated family law attorneys represent divorce cases throughout Michigan.
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