Shelter-in-place mandates have brought some couples joyfully together, while all of this forced togetherness has put other marriages to the test.
Our lives will get back to normal—albeit a NEW normal—one day, but can your marriage survive?
While we encourage couples to take proactive steps to solidify their marriages during these trying times, COVID-19 may be too strong a storm for some marriages to weather.
In this post, we discuss the top five reasons to call a divorce attorney. Our companion post provides guidance on how to save your marriage from the quarantine blues.
Five telltale signs it’s time to call a divorce attorney
This may sound strange coming from a law firm that specializes in divorce but we really don’t encourage divorce. Our goal is to keep families together whenever possible. That being said, you should pick up the phone and call a divorce attorney immediately if the following telltale signs occur.
No. 1: Escalation toward family violence OR family violence has already occurred.
Tensions tend to rise during trying times, and being cooped up together 24/7/365 like many couples have been this spring doesn’t help. Couples may be fighting more than usual in quarantine and that’s normal. However, if yelling and screaming escalates to the point where you fear family violence will occur OR it has already occurred, call an attorney ASAP so you can take steps to protect yourself.
No. 2: Your spouse is routinely absent from home.
Frequent, unexplained absences may be a sign that your spouse is being unfaithful. He or she may also be wasting community assets on the new love interest. (If that is the case, you can file a wasting claim against your spouse when you file for divorce.)
Should you suspect infidelity, call a divorce lawyer to weigh your options and take steps to protect your finances.
No. 3: You’ve been locked out of shared financial accounts.
Debit card not working? Bank won’t allow you to make a withdrawal from your checking or savings account? Unless your account is overdrawn, these are classic signs that your spouse has removed your name and access to shared financial accounts. It’s also a big red flag that he or she has already spoken with a divorce attorney. YOUR divorce attorney can advise you on how to regain access to shared accounts and funds.
No. 4: You notice large sums of money being transferred out of your financial accounts.
Before all of your shared assets disappear, call an attorney so you can take the legal steps necessary to freeze shared accounts. It’s important to do so quickly because unless your spouse is wasting community assets on a new flame, he or she may have the legal right to use those funds to pay off a business debt, buy a new boat or charge up a credit card. That means you may have no recourse to regain funds once they’re gone—and you could be on the hook for half of any debt he or she racks up because Texas is a community property state.
No. 5: Other funny business with your credit cards.
If your name is on a shared credit card account but your spouse won’t let you review account statements or give you login credentials to monitor transactions, he or she is probably trying to hide something. Preventing you from reviewing any of your financial accounts is usually a big red flag. If he or she persists in denying access, contact an attorney.
On the other hand, if you do have login credentials for your joint credit cards (and other financial accounts)—and suspect your spouse is cheating, gambling excessively, abusing drugs or alcohol or planning to file for divorce—be sure to monitor those accounts every day and call an attorney if suspicious activity occurs.
Seeing signs that point toward divorce? We can help
The experienced family lawyers at the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth can review your case and help you weigh your options. To schedule a confidential case review with founder Justin Sisemore, contact our law office at 817.336.4444 or connect with us online.
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