Freezing Financial Assets in a Divorce

Divorce can be a hard time for everyone involved. It can be a vulnerable time during which both parties may go through a lot of pain and emotions. Getting a divorce is almost always a messy affair, especially when couples are not willing to make it a fair deal.

There is a lot at stake for both parties in addition to all the emotional strain. A lot of money in the form of bank accounts, the marital home, and common assets need to be properly divided between the parties. Unfortunately, not all spouses play fair during this phase of the divorce proceedings. Spouses sometimes pull off some wild financial moves, like hiding or selling off assets, emptying out bank accounts, and spending common funds out of spite or greed.

A financial restraining order helps avoid such unfair practices and makes sure the assets are safeguarded until a proper court order has been reached.

Automatic Restraining Orders

The restraining orders, their assets coverage, and time duration can vary depending on the local state laws. Usually, an automatic restraining order is issued at the beginning of a divorce trial to ensure a fair process.

The exact mechanism of the automatic restraining might vary between jurisdictions. In most cases, judges will evaluate the normal spending behavior of each spouse and draw up a restraining order that will curtail anything deemed as odd behavior.

For instance, some couples may be involved in buying and selling cars often. In these cases, the restraining order will not restrict them from selling cars because it fits their normal behavior. Otherwise, the usual assets that will be frozen in a restraining order are:

  • Removal of name from joint accounts and credit cards
  • Changing nominee details in insurance policies
  • Acquiring new property or selling off property in a way that does not fit the normal behavior
  • Hiding or destroying valuables
  • Withdrawing large amounts of cash from bank accounts.

Why do You Need to Freeze Your Assets During a Divorce?

It all comes down to the financial risk a bitter divorce poses. One cannot take the fall for what could be the other’s fault. By freezing the assets, you can assure yourself financial freedom and protection from any attempts by your spouse to harm you financially. Divorce can be a taxing process that costs a lot of money. You do not want to lose any more on top of that.

Requesting an Asset Freeze

You need to present a solid argument to request a financial restraining order. Some factors that can help your case include:

  • Any threats made by the spouse on canceling credit cards, emptying bank accounts, or similar behavior
  • Proof of poor financial management by the spouse
  • Your spouse having a complicated business portfolio that could make it easy to hide or destroy assets

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today

You will need the help of an attorney to file a protective financial order if your court does not grant an automatic restraining order. Violating a financial restraint order can lead you to be held in contempt of court, and you may face severe penalties like bearing your spouse’s legal fees. Contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law today to schedule a consultation and protect your assets.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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