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How To Protect Yourself During an Unwanted NY Divorce

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Divorce Long Island, NY

When your spouse asks for a divorce, it may seem as if your world has suddenly turned upside down. If you have children, your family can be quite literally breaking apart at the seams. When at least one party is no longer happy or satisfied in the marriage, it may be necessary to dissolve the marriage through divorce, but this doesn’t mean that both parties want to go through with it.

If you’re that spouse, and you’re in the midst of an unwanted divorce, here are some things you can do to protect yourself and some resources you can use to help you through this tumultuous time.

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#1. Start With Your Finances

A good first step is to open a bank account in your name only. You need to be able to have somewhere to put your money that your spouse can’t get to or doesn’t know about. This is not to hide money from your spouse in order to get a more favorable divorce settlement. You will have to disclose all your marital assets and debts. This is to protect yourself and ensure that you have enough money to support yourself during your divorce and ensure your spouse does not siphon it off for their needs and desires.

If possible, save something back for the cost of a divorce lawyer, a new home, and other expenses that you’ll incur by being on your own again.

Next, create a budget for what you will be spending when you’re living on your own. You may need to cut back on certain things or find ways to increase your income depending on your situation.

For example, if you have children and are paying alimony and child support, you’ll need to factor in those expenses along with the cost of a new place to live, utilities, food, etc. This will help you track your spending and make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford as a newly single person.

#2. Protect Your Credit

Your credit rating may also be affected by a divorce, especially if you have joint debts with your spouse. You can protect your credit rating during a divorce by maintaining good payment history on all debts in your name and by avoiding opening new lines of credit during the divorce process. It’s also critical to review your credit report regularly during and after a divorce to ensure that your score isn’t negatively affected.

Note that you will need to pay debts in both of your names if your spouse refuses and you don’t want it to impact your credit score. Creditors and credit bureaus only measure things like payment amount and frequency, and they won’t take into account if you’re divorced. If the debt isn’t paid, both your and your spouse’s credit scores will be adversely impacted.

#3. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Don’t forget to take some time to take stock of your mental health. Getting a divorce is stressful enough, but if it’s not something you want, the situation can become exponentially more emotionally difficult. If you find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help or visit a divorce support group. Utilizing these kinds of resources are not a sign of weakness, but of taking care of yourself so you have the strength to get through this unique life event.

Many people understand what you’re going through and can lend a listening ear. Whether it’s family, friends, or people in your support group, make sure to surround yourself with supportive people who can be there for you during this difficult time. While it’s critically important to share your emotions, be careful who you trust with sensitive information. You may be close to your in-laws, but when it comes down to it, are you sure they won’t share your information with your soon to be ex-spouse?

Remind yourself that you deserve care and compassion and that it’s okay to feel whatever emotions come up.

Practicing self-care activities that help you cope is a great way to focus on yourself and get the time and space you need to heal. This might include things like exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time outdoors in nature. These things are proven to physically reduce your stress levels and help you better manage the difficult emotions that come with getting a divorce.

Work With an Experienced Long Island, NY Divorce Attorney

One of the most valuable assets you can have during a divorce, especially if you never wanted to end your marriage, is an experienced divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the legal process of divorce and your rights and responsibilities within it, so you know what to expect every step of the way.

By taking the time to consult and work with an experienced divorce lawyer, you can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process. This can go a long way toward alleviating your stress and the high emotions these difficult times inevitably create.

Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. are veteran Long Island, NY divorce attorneys who can help you navigate the challenges ahead and connect you with the resources you need to get through the divorce and start life anew. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your free initial consultation by dialing 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page.

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About the Author

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., Founding Partner, Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.

  • Over 20 years practicing matrimonial law
  • Over 1,000 cases successfully resolved
  • Founder and Partner of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.
  • Experienced and compassionate Long Island Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, and Divorce Mediator
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association member
  • Nassau County Bar Association member
  • Suffolk County Bar Association member
  • “Super Lawyer” Metro Rising Star
  • Nominated Best of Long Island Divorce Attorney four consecutive years
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Contributor
  • Collaborative Law Association of New York – Former Director
  • Martindale Hubbell Distinguished Designation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5%
  • Lead Counsel Rated – Divorce Law
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Graduate of Hofstra University School of Law
  • Double Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Law and History from SUNY Binghamton University
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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.

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