Contemplating filing for divorce? If so, you may think you know a lot about divorce. After all, you’ve stood by as your friends and family went through it. You may even feel like you’re practically an expert. However, unless you’ve actually walked the divorce path yourself, you’re going to discover there is a lot you did not know.
Society has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. Technology has changed and that alone has affected marriages. Social media affairs, GPS tracking on cellphones, smartphone technology, e-statements for credit cards, privacy laws and so on – they’ve all affected the divorce landscape. To that end, here’s a list of five shocking things about divorce you may not be aware of.
1. Spouses can be blinded by physical attraction. We see it all the time: A spouse falls hard, very hard for a man or woman with movie star good looks and they end up marrying this person. They were so blinded by their intense physical attraction that they failed to see the warning signs that were staring them in the face. Looks are great, but they have to be backed up by a solid bond built on mutual love and respect. All too often, looks fade when the reality of married life sets in and spouses realize that they are incompatible.
2. Social media is killing marriages. Social media platforms, namely Facebook and increasingly Instagram, are leading spouses to temptation. Whether it’s hooking up with an old high school or college flame, a complete stranger, or a best friend’s spouse, social media is killing marriages every day. If your spouse has a racy Facebook friend, or an extremely good looking “new friend” this could mean they’re hiding something.
3. Your snooping could be illegal. When spouses suspect their husbands and wives are cheating, the first places they’ll look is their spouse’s smartphone and their social media accounts. If you suspect your spouse is having an affair, it may be very tempting to scroll through their texts when they’re in the shower or asleep, or hack into their cellphone so you can read their Facebook direct messages; however, without your spouse’s express permission, you could be violating privacy laws, which protect your spouse.
What does this mean to you? If you’re planning on “collecting” evidence of an affair to nail your spouse in court, it could be futile. Not only is Nevada a “no-fault” divorce state, which means the judge won’t necessarily hear evidence of an affair, but the evidence may be useless if you violate your spouse’s privacy. On the other hand, “public” social media posts (not private direct messages) may be useful, especially in regards to spousal support or child custody.
4. Joint accounts are dangerous. If you have joint credit card accounts, and if both your names are on the mortgage and the auto loans, you should know that these joint accounts can be dangerous. You see, joint debts are community debts, meaning they belong to both spouses regardless of who agrees to pay off a debt in the divorce.
Suppose “Pamela” agrees to take over the payments for her SUV, but she gets fired and falls behind. Since her former husband, “Mike” never removed his name from the loan, he would now be on the hook and the creditor would go after him for payment. Pamela’s missed payments could negatively affect Mike’s FICO score, unless he acted quick enough to pay the auto loan before it went 30 days past due. It’s the same thing for any joint accounts, including a mortgage that survive the divorce.
5. Divorce peaks in January and September. Planning on taking a family vacation this summer? If you’re unhappily married, it may be your last. Why? Because, September and January are the busiest months of the year for divorce attorneys. This is because people tend to hold off their divorce filings until after the family summer vacation or the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Related: “Filing for Divorce in Las Vegas”
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