According to family lawyers, divorces can test the patience of even the most hardened individual. People that do not know how to handle the situation or don't have systems to help them through the process are bound to make critical mistakes. Part of these mistakes is relying on misconceptions with regard to property division. If you are on the verge of a divorce, you should be aware of these misconceptions to make the right choices. This article highlights some of the most common property settlement misconceptions during a divorce.
Non-Marital Property is Off Limits -- One of the most common myths people have concerning property settlement in a divorce is that non-marital assets cannot be divided. The myth rides on the misplaced notion that as long as the property is in one's name, then their spouse cannot lay claim on it. However, family lawyers warn people against making such an assumption because everything and anything is divisible. From the vintage car to the royalties on your bestselling book, all properties and assets are put on the table during divorce proceedings. The same holds for liabilities, such as debts and credit cards. It, therefore, doesn't matter whether property or debt is in the name of either spouse or both; it will still be divisible if the court deems it fair.
Free to Make Big Purchases -- If you have filed for divorce and are planning to make a big purchase, such as a house, you need to hold on. It is because divorce courts usually issue an automatic financial restraining order to both parties once the divorce papers are filed. It is done to prevent the liquidation of assets that might be the subject of property division. Failure to abide by the order amounts to contempt of court. It makes you liable for a hefty fine or jail time. Therefore, divorce lawyers advise spouses to make any significant purchases before filing for divorce.
Concealing Assets from Spouse -- While it is easy to hide some property from your spouse, you cannot hide it from the law. Some spouses, however, believe that if they hide some of their assets from their spouse, the partners will not bother to find out. It is especially the case in a marriage where one spouse is solely in charge of the finances. The truth is that any reasonable person seeks the services of a financial advisor in divorce proceedings. If you are discovered to have concealed assets, you face stiff penalties such as monetary sanctions.
Speak to a family lawyer to learn more about how divorces work.