How Money Can Become an Emotional Trigger in Your Divorce

Divorce is one of the most complex and emotionally-challenging life events that a person can experience. In fact, it’s quite normal for spouses to feel a kaleidoscope of emotions—depression, sorrow, rage—as they proceed through each step this legal process. Even so, when it comes to negotiating an equitable divorce settlement, it’s important for both spouses to remain cool and collected, especially when it comes to determining asset division and child custody. If a spouse is emotionally triggered by an event or disagreement, they may instinctively react in a way that hurts the outcome of the settlement.

The Greatest Emotional Trigger

Unsurprisingly, money is the greatest emotional trigger that regularly undermines divorce negotiations. Money is more than just a digital figure or pieces of green paper; money symbolizes independence, safety, and security—everything we unconsciously cling to in a divorce. 

Even before a divorce is filed, arguing or distant spouses tend to translate their marital dissatisfaction to financial issues. This factor doesn’t change during the actual legal process. Before you part ways forever, you and your spouse have many shared financial responsibilities and obligations. If one spouse fails to contribute in a misguided retaliation attempt, it may cause additional issues during negotiations.

Keeping Your Cool by Having a Plan

If you’re currently in the middle of a divorce, there are 4 financial situations that can impact your emotional state: your spouse stops paying bills, your spouse hides money, your spouse refuses to pay temporary child support, and your spouse discontinues your health insurance. It’s important to make a plan for these contingencies to protect yourself financially and ensure that you obtain a beneficial settlement agreement.

Scenario #1: Your Spouse Stops Paying Bills

You and your spouse still share all community property and assets until the divorce agreement is finalized. If your spouse fails to pay the bills, it can leave you financially vulnerable. On top of seeking legal guidance from the court and your attorney, you can cut back on your monthly spending just in case this situation becomes the norm. Instead of reacting in anger and compromising your divorce, it’s better to make these payments as needed and work with your legal representative to find a solution. Remember, acting out in anger is easy, but the emotional liberation likely won’t impress the court.

Scenario #2: Your Spouse Is Hiding Money 

Discovering that your spouse is hiding money or removing it from your joint accounts can instantaneously trigger panic and fury. This is more than just high-conflict quarreling, this is an act of outright deception and betrayal. Again, despite your natural emotional response, it’s imperative that you keep a cool head. This is an action contrary to the court’s orders and often leads to severe legal repercussions for the guilty spouse.  In fact, the court may order your spouse to replace the money, pay fines, and even cover your attorney fees.

Scenario #3: Your Spouse Refuses to Pay Temporary Child Support

This scenario hurts because it’s no longer just a personal matter between disagreeing adults—this involves your children. Again, you can’t confront your soon-to-be ex or act in a way that looks unfavorable to the court. It’s time to get practical, figure out how to make ends meet, and contact your attorney.

The court takes child support very seriously. Even if a permanent child support agreement hasn’t been determined, the court does not tolerate a parent not supporting their child. This goes against the court’s order and may warrant severe legal and financial consequences; in fact, it may even impact the overall custody agreement, and not in favor of your spouse.

Scenario #4: Your Spouse Discontinues Your Health Insurance

This scenario can be infuriating, especially if you have chronic physical or mental conditions that necessitate consistent medical care and treatments. Once again, your spouse is placing your safety and security in danger. It’s important to calmly remind your spouse that until the divorce is final, your medical bills are a shared responsibility. You can also work with your lawyer to get a court order that forces your spouse to keep you on their insurance plan in the interim. This can give you time to plan for the future and figure out an alternative.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Divorce doesn’t always inspire the best in people. If you’re concerned that your spouse plans to compromise your financial situation, you need to contact the New Port Richey divorce lawyer at Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office. We can help you safeguard your future by negotiating and litigating on your behalf. We know that a divorce settlement agreement can determine the quality of your future. We want to help you secure a beneficial settlement that prepares you for the next chapter of your life.

Contact Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office at (727) 312-1112 to schedule a consultation.

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