When you share with your closest friends or family members that you intend to file for divorce, they may react with surprise or sometimes with relief if they have never had a great relationship with your spouse. Even if you don’t ask for it, they are likely to try to give you some advice to help you get through this difficult transitional process.
One of the first pieces of advice people give is also one of the worst pieces of advice for someone contemplating a divorce. Your sister or your coworkers mean well when they tell you that you should start hiding cash in your dresser drawer or start your own secret bank account, but they don’t understand the implications of those actions.
That account isn’t your separate property
Although it may feel like a comfort to have resources in your name as you contemplate the end of your marriage, the unfortunate truth is that your new bank account or hidden cash of cash is actually marital property. Technically, you don’t need to tell your spouse about it until you file, but you will have to disclose the value of any assets you saved to prepare for divorce.
The courts will expect you to honestly share the exact amount that you set aside or deposited and potentially split it with your spouse in the divorce. Failing to disclose information about your financial practices could lead to accusations of hidden property and could result in judges taking punitive measures against you when dividing your other assets.
The best advice comes from those who know the law
Everyone thinks they know what you should do when you contemplate divorce, but most of those people have never been through a divorce, and those who have may have divorced in another state with different statutes.
To avoid making mistakes that could hurt your chances of the outcome you want in your divorce, you should only take advice from a lawyer familiar with Tennessee divorce statutes. The well-meaning advice provided by your loved ones could actually do more harm than good. Getting the right support as you contemplate filing for divorce will help you handle the process with dignity.