• Temporary Orders During Divorce Can Protect Marital Assets
  • April 17, 2015 | Author: Sam M. (Trey) Yates
  • Law Firm: Law Office of Sam M. (Trey) Yates, III, P.C. - Houston Office
  • For many facing divorce, a common concern is the disruption of financial security during the divorce process. This issue can be especially frightening and overwhelming when a stay-at-home parent, a financially dependent spouse or a disabled spouse is facing divorce.

    Here are some of the concerns I hear from clients facing divorce who face financial challenges:

    • one spouse earns much more than the other, so the lesser earning spouse fears financial hardship;
    • one spouse has complete control of the household finances, leaving the other with no access to funds to pay for a divorce attorney;
    • one spouse is threatening to take the away the children if the other files for divorce since he/she is the major bread winner;
    • one spouse has cared for the children and the household for many years and does not have a job or the skills to get one.

    I have counseled many individuals in these and similar circumstances who are so concerned about finances, they are virtually paralyzed with fear and unable to act. I cannot over emphasize that there are solutions to these and other concerns with regard to maintaining a couple's financial stability during the divorce process.

    While the divorce is pending and agreements are being worked out, setting up temporary orders and/or support will go along way in protecting each spouse's credit and marital assets during the divorce process. Whatever the situation, either spouse can ask for a temporary support hearing at the time the divorce is filed or shortly thereafter.

    While the divorce is pending, temporary orders can state, for example, who stays in the family home; who cares for the children; and who is financially responsible for the mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, etc. These orders can also set rules restraining any inappropriate conduct by divorcing spouses.

    In my experience, couples can often agree upon reasonable, temporary financial arrangements, through their attorneys, that will tide them over until the divorce is final. One attorney can draft a Temporary Orders document that outlines all the financial details agreed on. This document is then reviewed and signed by each spouse and filed with the court. Agreeing on temporary orders at this stage moves the process along, alleviates fears and avoids incurring additional legal fees from going to court.

    As far as paying attorney's fees, many lawyers today accept credit cards from clients going through divorce. This is an option to consider if couples do not have the cash reserves available to finance divorce. This also may be a good solution for couples wanting to preserve what cash reserves they have to pay for unexpected expenses during the divorce process.

    The first step to securing your finances during the divorce process is to find a family law attorney who is experienced in divorce and can assist you with these and other concerns you may have.