There are many rules and restrictions on things like how you spend your money to how you parent your kids during divorce that take people by surprise. I talked to a reporter at Moneyish about some of these surprising restrictions and what they mean during divorce.
“Most people are really taken off guard by some of these restrictions, especially the travel issue (with children),” Morghan Leia Richardson, a family lawyer and partner at Davidoff, Hutcher & Citron LLP in Manhattan, told Moneyish. “Taking the kids overseas many times becomes a restriction, especially if one party is from another country or has family ties to another country, because the courts want to avoid situations where parents withhold their kids in other countries.”
In many states, starting a divorce action comes with a set of immediate restrictions (restraining orders) that prevent financial transfers in order to protect parties so that one more savvy partner doesn’t drain the accounts and hide all the assets.
“These are put in place so that one spouse doesn’t retaliate against the other. The intent is to effectively ‘pause’ everything so that all issues can be worked out fairly and legally,” explained Richardson. “They keep the parties from draining bank accounts, moving or hiding money and assets, and attempt to force everyone to keep the financial standard of the marriage.”
The bottom line: Once the divorce process starts rolling, you need to clear everything with your lawyer.
“Talk to your attorney before you make any moves; before you terminate anything or change accounts. And your attorney will then talk to the other side to come to an agreement,” said Richardson. “If you need money for legal fees or rent or food — or your shared investment is losing money, maybe, and you both agree you should sell the stock right away — we can temporarily lift those restrictive orders to move some things around and come to a quick agreement. But before you do anything, talk to your attorney.”
Were you surprised by a restriction during your divorce that you didn’t expect? Discuss in the comments.