How do I protect my rights when filing for divorce? 22 Answers as of June 09, 2011

I am worried that my spouse will take child custody and custody of any other assets I own. What are my rights and what are the steps I can take to make sure that I will still own any property listed under my name?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
At the time of filing, you should consider filing a motion for temporary orders.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/9/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Too voluminous and complicated an answer for this site. You need to start with a good attorney and take action quickly. If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
You should definitely consult with an attorney. In a divorce you are entitled to any property that was yours and not considered marital property. Most property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, however, and you are entitled to an equitable portion of that. What that is depends on a number of circumstances. Likewise, you should have an attorney to help you with issues of custody. The court will make a determination as to whether it is your children's best interest for you or your spouse to be legal custodial parents. There are numerous issues that can be easily complicated if you are not someone who deals with them regularly.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
The best way to protect your rights during the dissolution process is to work with an attorney. In general with few exceptions, in Washington property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered to be community property. Both parents have a right to have a relationship with their child(ren). If the parents cannot agree on custody issues, the court tends to look at what would be in the best interest of the child(ren).
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Assets not used for the mutual benefit of the marriage are not part of the marital estate. Other factors are considered in custody placement to determine what is in the best interest of the children. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Unfortunately, in order to answer your questions, I would need much more information; such as: the length of the marriage, what assets are in dispute, when they were acquired, the ages of the children, the relative involvement of each party in the children's lives, etc. etc. I can tell you that Florida is a Shared Parenting State, which means that both parents share in the parental responsibility for and the time with the minor children. Additionally, Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that any and all asset and liabilities acquired or incurred during the marriage are considered marital assets that are subject to equitable distribution (fair distribution) between the parties, regardless of whose name the asset or liability is in. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The best protection you can get is by retaining an experienced Family Law Attorney, preferably a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), to represent you in your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Just because something is listed in your name doesn't mean it will be resistant to a claim for equitable distribution in Divorce Court. Consult with a matrimonial lawyer to learn more detailed information. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There are many factors the courts look at in custody and property division. Here is a link you may find useful: http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/selfguides.htm#Pathfinders. You need to consult with an attorney in your area to discuss these in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington title or who's name is on something matters little.When you divorce you're entitled to a fair and equitable division of everything regardless of title. Often separate property is given back to the person who owns it however if a fair division can be achieved with just the community property. So first you have to figure out what is separate and community.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any property that was acquired during the marriage is deemed marital and capable of division in court. That is true regardless of how the asset is titled. As a result, any equitable division of property would require a review of the case as a whole including the nature of the asset, its value and other financial resources available for division.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    When a petition for divorce is filed and served on the other party there is an automatic temporary injunction in place that prohibits either party from disposing of assets, changing insurance policies, or removing children from the state. The court has authority to impose other necessary restrictions or to punish violations of the injunction. There is nothing about filing for divorce that would allow your spouse to do anything with property in your name until a court order does something with the property. The property is generally considered marital property regardless of whose name it is in, but until the court orders you to do something different, only you can control it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    First of all, before filing for divorce, you should protect your assets that you can protect, in your name only. Second, you should take photographs and create an inventory of the personal property you are most concerned about protecting. As to the children, if the status quo is that the children live with the two of you, the automatic orders state that this cannot change. Same if the children are primarily living with you. The remedy for that is a motion for orders or contempt.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    The court is going to look at what is in the best interests of the child when determining where a child will live. As for assets, the court will seek to equitably distribute those, so it is rare for one party to get all of the assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law it is up to the court (unless you reach an agreement) to decide what property is awarded to each party. Generally separate property (owned prior to the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance) of each party is awarded to that party, and community property is divided. The court's job is to determine what is a fair and equitable division of the property. The court will also attempt to determine a parenting plan that keeps both of you involved as parents (absent reasons why that would not be good for the child) and determine a residential schedule that works for both parents and the child. You should consult with an attorney in your area for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Your lawyer will protect your rights, and will explain them to you. The rights of a person in divorce vary widely state by state.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I have a good answer for you which may not guarantee a perfect result, but which should hopefully get you what you deserve: The answer is to retain the best divorce attorney you can find in your community to represent you! Please check out our divorce blog for suggestions on how to find a good divorce lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The best way to lose is to not get a lawyer. The best way to do well is to get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    We can file the divorce and obtain immediate protective orders to make sure that assets remain and as far as custody of the child, we can also obtain appropriate orders. This sounds like a case that legal counsel will be well worth the money spent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    There are no generic "steps" that everyone can take in their divorce. Everyone's situation is different. That is why divorce attorneys are necessary. I strongly recommend that you consult one as soon as possible to help you determine what your best course of action will be.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You are entitled to one-half of all community assets and, in the absence of other factors, half of the time with the children. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You need to have a consultation with an attorney about the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
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