The process of separating your assets from those of your spouse in your upcoming divorce can be a complicated one. For this reason, you might decide to start making important changes to your assets and estate plans, like removing your spouse from your insurance policy or your will. However, rushing into such decisions could prove to be a mistake.
As Nerdwallet explains, a judge that oversees your divorce may have a problem if you decide to start cutting your spouse off from benefits and assets before the divorce case can proceed. While preparing to make major changes in beneficiary designations can benefit you, going ahead with those changes before a judge approves them may cost you.
Divorce judges generally pay close attention to how fairly one spouse treats another when it comes to asset and property division. If you remove your spouse from certain insurance policies, pensions or accounts, a judge could interpret your action as cutting your spouse off from money or benefits that he or she deserves.
If you go ahead with beneficiary changes before your divorce begins, a judge could respond by awarding more assets to your spouse. You may also suffer legal consequences if you remove your spouse as a beneficiary after filing for divorce. A judge could hold you in criminal contempt for acting without court permission.
Misunderstanding state law
Even if you think you can move money or change beneficiaries without legal consequence, you should consider the source of your legal information. Divorce laws vary by state, and what works in one state may not work in Ohio. It is important that your sources are truly knowledgeable about the law. You might benefit from putting off major financial decisions until you have consulted with an Ohio attorney who understands asset or beneficiary changes during divorce.