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How to handle finances

Started by mistoffolees, Sep 18, 2006, 02:24:36 PM

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mistoffolees

The FAQs don't quite answer this, so maybe you can give me some guidance or steer me in the right direction.

I am planing to file for divorce early next week (I'd do it today, but my daughter's birthday is on Saturday and I don't want to ruin it for her). 

Given all the advice from people here, I guess I have to stay in the family home unless I can find some other way to get out without risking my chances of at least 50:50 custody.

I earn essentially all the income. My wife is starting out as a realtor, but hasn't made any sales. She's also signed up to give flu shots (she's a nurse) but that will be just a few hundred dollars a month. Therefore, virtually all the bills are being paid from my income.

What happens when I file for divorce?

1. Do I just continue to pay all the normal household expenses until the preliminary hearing (I think tihs takes about a month in OK)?
2. Do I cancel credit cards?
3. Do I take money out of our joint savings account and open my own personal account so I have money to buy what I need for the new rental house (I would certainly notify my wife that I had done so and would report it when we do our financial settlement since I have no intention of trying to cheat her out of her share of our assets)?
4. Do you have any links of where I can find information on how to handle the money during the 'living together, but divorce has been filed' stage?

Thanks.

socrateaser

>What happens when I file for divorce?

I understand that you may be receiving advice from many others. However, I strongly recommend that you do not combine anyone else's advice with what you read in my posts, or you may risk becoming even more confused than you already are.

CAUtION: I am not licensed to practice OK law, so I can only give you general info about your circumstances. Only a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction can give you legal advice, and you should check anything I suggest with an OK lawyer.

Now, then, having covered my arse...

>1. Do I just continue to pay all the normal household expenses
>until the preliminary hearing (I think tihs takes about a
>month in OK)?

OK is a "separate property" jurisdiction, which means that each spouse has separate control and management of their own income and assets, but that the court can divide those assets and order spousal support on dissolution, in order to effect an equitable (fair) distribution.

OK law will have factors that the court uses to determine exactly how property division and support will be apportioned, but, at the instant you file for divorce, you and your spouse will be restrained from disposing of any of your assets and income except in the" ordinary course of business or for the necessities of life."

The court will not order temporary support (either spousal or child) as long as you are living in the home and actually supporting your spouse. If you move out, the court will order support. However, your spouse may request an order that you leave the home. You can also make such a request. It really comes down to how civil the two of you can be.

In my experience, civility disolves into chaos rather quickly, so I STRONGLY advise that you obtaina dictation recorder with lots of batteries and extra tapes and that you carry the thing around with you in plain sight and running, just about every moment that you are in the family home.

If you don't, you may find yourself looking at a domestic abuse restraining order and you will be living on your friend's sofa until your divorce is settled (it happens ALL the time).

>2. Do I cancel credit cards?

Yes, but before doing so, I recommend that if you and your spouse are able to communcate effectively, that you offer to separate your assets into two accounts so that she believes that she is not being "cut off." Otherwise, she will likely panic and all hell will break loose.

>3. Do I take money out of our joint savings account and open
>my own personal account so I have money to buy what I need for
>the new rental house (I would certainly notify my wife that I
>had done so and would report it when we do our financial
>settlement since I have no intention of trying to cheat her
>out of her share of our assets)?

Deposit any new income into a separate account. Try to come to an agreement about how much to put into your separate accounts. If you can't, then split it in the manner that you can justify is fair. You may not believe that 50/50 is fair, but if you actually divide the assets 50/50, the court will look at your actions as evidence implying that 50/50 is what the two of you believe is fair, and that will be the "status quo," and changing it will be near to impossible.


>4. Do you have any links of where I can find information on
>how to handle the money during the 'living together, but
>divorce has been filed' stage?

Talk to an OK attorney for specifics. No link will give you the sort of info that you require. And, if you find one, I suggest you forget you found it.

mistoffolees

Thanks for the advice. 

BTW, in practice, my attorney says that the courts almost always split any property acquired during the marriage 50:50. She wasn't aware of any cases that had gone differently. That makes the division of assets easy (expensive, but easy).

Even so, I'm a little hesitant to split the cash accounts 50:50. She'll probably take the house, so I need more of the cash to make up for the equity in the house. Also, given the choice between my pre-tax retirement accounts and after tax investment accounts, I just might go for the after tax accounts.

I guess I'd just better plan to spend a few more hours of my attorney's time on all these matters before I jump in.