How to Prepare for Divorce to Ensure Your Assets Are Protected
There is a lot that goes into pursuing a divorce, such as gathering records, talking to a lawyer, opening new bank accounts, establishing your own credit, and inventorying the estate. But since so much of a divorce involves financial matters, one of the most important things to do is make sure your assets are safe and available when you need them in the future.
Here are some asset protection tips for how to prepare for a divorce if your marriage is coming to an end.
Common Assets in a Divorce
Married couples share many types of assets that they accumulate during their time together. These assets include bank accounts, businesses, real estate, and retirement accounts. Cash, mutual funds, and bonds are shared monetary assets, while debt that you are owed repayment for is an asset too.
Other types of assets that can be shared include deferred compensation from an employer, income tax refunds, credit card accounts, vehicles, timeshare properties, patents, and trademarks. Household furniture, life insurance policies, and collections of artwork are also assets to divide up in a divorce.
What Is Asset Protection
Asset protection is a type of financial planning tool to protect your wealth from loss, seizure, and taxation. People in various phases of life need to protect their assets while planning for retirement, planning for long-term care, starting a business, and going through a divorce.
The legal process of going through a divorce hinges on dividing up assets based on fairness, ownership rights, and need. Also, the discovery phase of a divorce case can reveal if your spouse is hiding assets from you. Divorce cases that involve large amounts of assets are often more complex and require the experience of an attorney who has worked with high-dollar appraisals and valuing and dividing up large amounts of assets.
Steps to Protecting Assets During Divorce
The first step for how to prepare for a divorce while protecting your assets is to identify what is yours, what is your spouse’s, and what is shared. You’ll need to back up these claims with legitimate financial paperwork, such as bank statements, tax forms, and employment documents. Many people starting divorce proceedings will make large purchases out of joint accounts or take some assets out of joint accounts to cover bills and have some emergency cash until the court decides how to split up the account.
At this point, it is strongly advised to consult an attorney who is experienced in both divorce law and asset protection strategies to help you devise a plan for taking care of your financial future. Conversations with your attorney can help you determine what assets you’ll need in the long-term so that you get your fair share out of your divorce.
Legal Help with Divorce and Asset Protection
There are various ways that you can maintain control over your assets during a divorce, such as an asset protection trusts, guardianships, and living wills and trusts. We know that your assets belong to you and not the court system, and we’ll fight for what’s rightfully yours so that it doesn’t get tied up where you can’t access it.
It’s hard to not let your emotions run high and influence your financial decisions while going through a divorce, which is why we are here to be the logical and experienced voice of reason to help you resolve your divorce as efficiently and agreeably as possible. We’ll also help you identify the hidden tax implications of your divorce assets so that you aren’t hit with a huge surprise tax bill in the future.
Contact us at 718-233-2903 to learn more about how to protect your wealth during a divorce and for your free consultation.