Tips For Preparing Divorce Discreetly
Fearing For Your Safety? How To Secretly Prepare Your Divorce
Not every divorce in Arizona is one that both spouses see coming. In some situations, one spouse might even fear for their safety when their spouse finds out they want a divorce. If you find yourself in these circumstances, you will need to take extra steps to make sure your divorce preparations are discreet. Our Phoenix divorce lawyers have experience dealing with these types of tenuous situations – let us know if you need discretion when scheduling your free consultation with our Arizona Divorce Attorneys.
Arizona Divorce Basics
Each state has its own laws surrounding divorce, so it’s important that you understand the basics in Arizona before you file. For starters, the residency requirement, or the amount of time you must live in a state before you qualify to file divorce there, in Arizona is 90 days. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that most people simply cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason on their divorce petitions. However, Arizona is also one of three states that offers covenant marriage, which does require proof of specific circumstances for a divorce to be granted. You must complete special premarital counseling and submit a declaration with your marriage application to have a covenant marriage, so you will definitely know whether yours is a covenant marriage.
When you file divorce in Arizona, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period from the date that your petition is filed until when your divorce can be finalized. Even if you agree on everything, the judge won’t issue your divorce orders until this waiting period has elapsed. However, many divorces in Arizona can take far longer than the 60-day waiting period. You and your spouse will need to resolve all issues relevant in your case before it can be finalized, namely property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody. Some spouses find it faster and less stressful to resolve their divorce through mediation, although this isn’t possible for many couples. Their divorces will only proceed to trial if they are unable to reach agreements out of court.
Arizona is a community property state. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it means that all the property and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage belong to both spouses equally. If either spouse acquires something by inheritance or gift during the marriage, or has acquired something before the marriage, that is the spouse’s separate property.
Tips To Keep Your Divorce Preparations Under Wrap
Keeping your divorce preparation low-key could be beneficial to you, or it could be absolutely essential. Here are some steps you can take to keep your divorce preparations more private.
Make sure anyone involved knows you wish to keep things discreet
If you contact Glendale divorce attorneys, let them know whether it’s okay to leave voicemails and which numbers and email addresses are safe to contact. This goes for accountants, therapists, or any other professionals you have been consulting in preparation for divorce. If you discuss your relationship issues with your friends or family members, make sure to emphasize with them just how important it is that word doesn’t get back to your spouse.
Be careful about your social media usage
We don’t want to tell you to completely eradicate your social media usage, because it can be a useful way to stay in contact with loved ones. But we do want to encourage you to be mindful about what you post on your social media profiles. If your spouse has the passwords to your accounts, you also need to monitor what is said in your private messaging on these apps. You may also want to turn off any location tracking that you have enabled on any of your social media.
Set aside funds if you believe your spouse will cut off funds to keep you from leaving
If your spouse doesn’t want you to leave, they may try to keep you in the marriage by using finances to keep you hostage. Depending on their level of involvement, you may be able to open up a separate bank account to use when you leave your marriage. If not, you may want to start setting aside cash or Visa gift cards to use in the immediate aftermath of your divorce. You may even want to consider opening a credit card to use for emergency purchases while you are in the beginning stages of your divorce.
Gather important documents and belongings before you leave
This is a similar tactic abusive spouses may employ to keep their spouses from leaving them – hiding their belongings and important documents like a driver’s license and passport so it is more difficult to leave. Depending on your situation, you may or may not be able to pack a bag full of clothes and other necessities that you can keep in your car or at a friend’s house. At the very least, you should make sure you have access to your passport and other vital documents before you tell your spouse about your plans for divorce.
Don’t let your children become weapons against you
If you have children with your spouse, they may assume you will never leave for the sake of the family. They may even try to use your children as pawns in your upcoming divorce battle. Whenever possible, leave your children out of it, and try to avoid trash talking your ex in front of them. Let them know that the divorce isn’t their fault, and that you’ll always be there for them. You should consider seeking counseling if your children show major emotional or behavioral changes during this period.
Some “standard” divorce advice won’t apply in your situation
If you are secretly preparing for divorce because you fear your spouse, a lot of common advice regarding divorce could actually put you in danger. For example, while many consider it more honorable to break up in person, it could actually be much safer for you to do it over the phone, in public, with a friend accompanying you, etc. Many couples also at least attempt mediation to complete their divorce, but mediation is not appropriate in abusive situations.
Document what is going on in your relationship privately
Whether it’s a personal journal or a password-protected digital document, keeping a record of what is going on with your relationship can help preserve your sanity. It can also help you relay things to your attorney and the judge in your case more clearly when it comes time for divorce proceedings. But clearly, this type of personal record needs to be kept hidden from the spouse you plan to divorce. Again, make sure it is password protected if it is digital, and consider keeping it somewhere locked and secure or with a friend if it is a physical document.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys With Experience & Discretion
Our Arizona family law team is seasoned in dealing with sensitive issues when it comes to divorce and family law. We help protect our clients from further abuse and manipulation from their spouses. We will make sure that you get your fair share when you split from your spouse, and work out a custody arrangement that will work for your family going forward. To learn more, as well as to receive an affordable quote with payment plan options, call 480-263-1699 to schedule your free consultation. Our Phoenix divorce attorneys are ready to assist.