There was an established plan. Your spouse was supposed to come and get their things at 8:00, but when you got back at 10:00, nothing was how you expected it to be. Your spouse took your favorite valuable, they took more than they said they would, and they did not follow the established “no note on the table” protocol. If that were not enough, the note said some of the most hurtful things you have ever read. You thought that the divorce could be accomplished without legal action, but clearly the circumstances have changed. What can you do when you do not trust your spouse?
As much as you may want to believe that you and your spouse can separate quietly and in total agreement, your divorce will most likely not work out that way. Your spouse can change from the person who seemed reasonable and understanding to someone who you will never fully trust again. Stated agreements without legal action can end up being worthless if they are not put down in writing.
So here are a few tips that can help you navigate your distrust in your Massachusetts divorce.
While your spouse may have agreed to give you 60% of the estate in a personal conversation at the start of your divorce, this does not mean that you are now legally entitled to do so (unless the conversation was recorded with their knowledge and is producible in a court of law). If your spouse does not continue to say you will get 60% of the estate, then you need to forget they ever said it because you will need to focus on the divorce proceedings as they are now. Some spouses will use false information to make the other spouse upset in front of the judge. In other situations, spouses may promise to do something and then hire a lawyer to come after you while you are believing their word is going to hold true. You may think your spouse is trustworthy, but that does not mean you should expect past conversations to hold up in court.
If your spouse sends you a message that entails divorce agreements that you want, keep the message in case you must prove that the agreement is real. Facebook messages*, text messages, personal notes, and other written forms of divorce stipulations must be given to a divorce judge if the agreement will hold in a court of law. You may think that your spouse will hold to the agreement, but why risk it? Make sure you save the text, email, or message so that you can produce the evidence to the judge if the proceedings go to court.
*These messages should never be shared to anyone other than your lawyer or the judge. If you begin to post these messages to social media, you may end up forfeiting your entitlement to the stipulations in the message.
If you are trusting your spouse to proceed through a divorce, make sure they write down their statements. If you feel like something they are demanding is unclear, ask for it in writing. If they stated that they are willing to agree to a division of property, ask for it in writing. The only way you can trust what your spouse is saying about his or her responsibilities in a divorce is if they are willing to give it to you in writing. Words are important, but pen to paper is real trust in divorce proceedings. If your spouse is unwilling to write down what they said, will they be willing to do what they said they are going to do?
While it may have become impossible to put faith in your spouse, our legal team can help you stay confident that your divorce proceedings will run smoothly. We have handled thousands of divorces across the state of Massachusetts, so our team is never surprised to see how spouses manipulate each other’s trust. We know how to protect your rights, and we know how to show the judge the truth about your spouse and their unwillingness to act civilly in your divorce. Our goal is to be your foundational bedrock in your divorce so that you can move on knowing that our legal team has your back.
If you want legal representation you can trust, do not hesitate to contact our office. Call (508) 502-7002 now for a free evaluation of your current divorce situation.