financial security and divorce optIn a divorce, you may feel financially vulnerable. Suddenly, several different parties will have access to information about your assets for the purposes of determining how much you will have to part with.

For most people, this is a nerve-wracking experience. You have worked hard for your financial well being and now you may have to fight to keep as much as you can.

However in all California divorces, community assets must be divided 50/50 between the two parties. This means, after having been determined to be a community asset, you will have to part with half the value of that asset. While there is not much you can do to prevent that from happening, you can take a few steps to make sure your assets are protected during the divorce and going forward.

When you decide to divorce, discuss with your spouse whether or not one of you needs to move out. Moving out will require another household to be established and this usually means a temporary spousal support order can be issued. This will not help the financial circumstances of the family, meaning less of the net worth of the community will be available to either of you at the end of the divorce. Also, have your attorney, should you retain one, file a temporary restraining order. Restraining orders are not just for domestic violence and protection; they can also be used to restrain the financial actions you or your spouse can take. This is also called property restraint.

A temporary restraining order will limit who has access to your accounts and restrain either party from making any big or unusual purchases, outside of the necessary costs of your household or business. It is a misconception that you can tie up your assets during a divorce in order to reduce the end settlement account.

In reality, everything that happens after the date of separation can be viewed as a separate property issue. For example, if someone went out and bought a brand new car after separation but prior to the final judgment, the car would be separate property. However, if that car was bought with community funds, that person will still be liable for paying back the spouse’s share. Under a temporary restraining order, however, one would need permission from the spouse to make such a purchase if done with community funds. This is the single most important step in protecting your assets during a divorce. Another way to ensure your financial assets are protected during divorce proceedings is to keep meticulous records of all spending and purchases and stay on top of your accounts.

If you are in the Los Angeles or greater L.A. area and have questions about property restraint during divorce, Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney can help. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled complex divorce litigation team can provide expert counsel to ensure you walk away with the all the property you are entitled to. Call our Los Angeles office at 310-622-9434; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.