Possession can be nine-tenths of the law, sometimes. Consulting with an attorney before the date of separation can reduce the risk that assets will be hidden, transferred, or destroyed by your spouse. This is especially important if your spouse has a history of destroying property, incurring substantial debt, or transferring money without your knowledge.
The possible actions you and your attorney can consider together include:
- Placing your family heirlooms or other valuables in a safe location;
- Transferring some portion of financial accounts prior to separating;
- Preparing an inventory of the personal property;
- Taking photographs or a video of the property; and
- Obtaining copies of important financial records or statements.
Plans to leave the marital home should also be discussed in detail with your attorney, so that any actions taken early in your case are consistent with your ultimate goals.
Speak candidly with your lawyer about your concerns. That will ensure a plan can be developed which provides a level of protection that is appropriate to your circumstances.