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Is it petty to do this during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Family Law

Most people who get divorced don’t feel completely amicable toward one another. However, remaining civil may be important if the two of you share children.

The following situations are very typical for couples who are getting divorced. Some might be considered necessary to the split, while others are just plain petty.

Withholding access information for virtual accounts

It’s more than likely that you shared several online accounts with your spouse. While the divorce will separate joint bank accounts, others, such as Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, could fall through the cracks. So, should you continue sharing these accounts or change their passwords and keep them for yourself?

In most cases, exes should not continue sharing. While deciding which of you should keep the accounts, consider who is paying for them and who is using them. For example, if you pay for the Netflix account, but your spouse is the one using it regularly, it isn’t petty to want to stop paying for your subscription. However, it could be considered petty to deliberately intend to hurt your ex by deleting the account, without offering it to them first.

Remember that biting the bullet and creating a new account for yourself may save your energy for higher-priority battles.

Taking the family pet

Remember that animals are considered property. If your ex purchased an animal before the two of you got married, the animal is your ex’s property. That means taking him or her without permission could be considered stealing unless you can prove the animal was in imminent danger under your ex’s care.

If the two of you shared the animal, consider why you want to take the pet. It’s petty to take a pet to hurt your ex. However, if you have been responsible for the costs and care of the animal and want to fight for it during your property division negotiations, you should keep the animal during your separation.

Hiding assets

Most people hide assets during a divorce to make it appear that they have less during property division so that they can ultimately come out with more. Not only is this petty behavior but it’s also illegal to lie about the number of assets you have while under oath.

Examples of hiding assets could include “gifting” money or expensive assets to friends and family to hold onto or putting items in a secret storage unit until the divorce is over.

The only situation in which hiding assets isn’t petty is if you fear that your ex would damage, sell or take important assets from you. However, rather than hiding these assets permanently, you should alert the courts of your concerns. An attorney can help you work with the courts to secure temporary permission to take these assets before your property division proceeding.