Protecting Assets in a Divorce
It’s no secret that marriage can be difficult. Joining two lives together can come with frustrations, compromises, and misunderstandings that may lead to resentment over time. Once that animosity creeps in, it can be challenging for both parties to overcome. In fact, it’s so difficult to do that 41% of all first marriages end in divorce. If you are in this same boat, understanding the steps you need to take to protect yourself, especially your assets, is critical. Follow these 4 steps to safeguard your assets when your marriage breaks up.
1. Get a New Bank Account
If you have a joint checking account, you should open a new account in your name only and get your paychecks direct deposited into it. In some cases, it may be ideal for you to freeze or even close your joint banking account to prevent either party from being tempted to touch it. While you are legally within your right to use the money within your joint checking account, doing so may impact your divorce settlement.
2. Change Your Will
Change your last will to reflect your new situation. If you don’t want your spouse to be a beneficiary of your will, you need to remove them. Additionally, consider removing your spouse as the will’s executor. In many states, an ex-spouse is not allowed to serve as an administrator of an estate. Changing your will is a step you can take right after your divorce is settled if you have new assets you need to consider.
3. Take Stock of All Assets and Liabilities
All divorce proceedings require an inventory of the couples’ assets and debts, in addition to a list of all assets and liabilities the individuals believe are separate property. Failing to compile this information can delay the divorce. Make a note of the following:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Household goods
4. Consider Your Living Situation
Are you and your spouse moving into separate homes or living together until the marriage is officially dissolved? Note that moving out of the family home may impact whether you can claim it as yours in the settlement. In many cases, it makes the most sense to sell the house and divide the money.
Fairly dividing your assets can be tricky without the help of a mediator. Contact a divorce lawyer, from Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC today so you can have a representative on your side who knows your state’s laws and who can fight for your best interests.