Without a doubt, financial considerations during a divorce are paramount issues. Usually right after child issues, and sometimes before, clients fret over financial concerns during a divorce.
I get questions all the time, such as, “Can I remove my spouse from our joint checking account?”, ” Can I cancel my spouse’s health insurance?”, “Can I transfer title of my car to my mother?”, or “Do I have to pay child support?”
These are just a few of the questions I regularly field from clients at the beginning of their cases. On more than a few occasions, a spouse will take financial matters to an extreme, move out, wipe out all accounts, and refuse to provide the family with any support.
The courts are aware that there may be financial considerations during a divorce and in 2014, the Miami-Dade Circuit Court entered a standing Status Quo Order for all divorce or paternity actions. So the answer to that above questions and any other questions that deal with changing the status quo is a resounding NO! Except, the child support question, the Status Quo Order “strongly encourages” parents to make voluntary child support payments.
I advise all my clients to continue paying any bills or portions of bills they paid when they were together with their spouse.
Likewise, all insurance policies are to remain intact. No additional debt is to be incurred nor are any assets to be diminished.
Above all, spending should be in the ordinary course of providing the necessities of life for the family until the case is over. Keep in mind that all expenditures during the time of separation are subject to accounting, so keep good records. As long as spending is reasonable and necessary, there should not be a problem.
So what do you do if you are no longer able to maintain the status quo? Your case judge can modify the court’s Status Quo Order. Sometimes, as often happens in life, the unexpected occurs, or a party is unable to maintain the status quo financially. Discuss these concerns with your lawyer as soon as you recognize there is or will be a problem keeping the status quo. So long as your reasons for deviating or changing the status quo are reasonable, your lawyer can move for an order to accommodate you.
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