Do you know what most people going through divorce fear the most? Losing everything. And you can lose a lot of your assets, if not everything, if you aren’t careful. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Wondering how to protect your assets before divorce? Here are tips as given by divorce lawyers:
Know what you can protect
You can’t protect what you know nothing or little about, can you? So the first thing you should do is to know the things that you can protect. Some of these things include:
- Retirement accounts, including 401 (k) s, IRAs, and pensions
- Furniture, electronics, and other household belongings
- Checking and saving accounts
- Home, rental, and vacation properties
- Mutual funds, brokerage accounts, and other stocks
- Family businesses and practices
Evaluate your separate property
During the divorce, the court will look at your property as either marital or separate property. Separate property is property that you obtained separately from your spouse. This can be property owned by one spouse before marriage, gifts from third parties to one partner, inheritance received by one partner, payment received from a personal injury lawsuit, among many other things.
By evaluating your assets before divorce, you have a clear idea of your financial situation after separation. Identifying your personal property also gives you an idea of what you will have after your divorce.
Evaluate the marital property
Marital property is the opposite of separate property. This is property that you obtained together with your spouse during your union. In most cases, marital property is divided equally between partners. When you know the amount and value of the marital property you have, you know how your finances will play out following the divorce.
During the divorce, the court doesn’t always share the marital property equally—it considers several factors such as:
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Earning potential and income of each partner
- Age, physical and emotional health of each partner
- The financial situation of each spouse following divorce
- Income or property brought into the marriage by each partner
- Financial needs of the custodial parents on the care of the children
Work with a certified divorce analyst
Before you head to divorce, hire a divorce analyst to determine your assets’ value before division. The analyst will also help you tell the difference between separate and marital property and even go to the extent of helping you find their value.
Gather the relevant records and documents
If you have tried resolving your issues without success and there is no other way out, you should begin gathering records for all of your jointly held accounts, assets, and properties. The records come in handy at helping you determine your fair share of assets. They also will prevent your partner from hiding the tangible assets.
Gathering the records involves making clear copies of all tax returns, wills, trusts, loan applications, brokerage statements, credit card statements, financial statements, banking information, car registrations, insurance inventories, insurance policies, and any others.
While at it, also create an inventory of all your valuables and their value. It doesn’t matter what you have. From the big screen TV to the dining room set. Write everything down and find out its current value. To have an easy time and be accurate in your work, work with an expert.
Consult an expert family attorney
Don’t go through divorce blindly. Consult the best divorce lawyers Fairfax VA, and they will help you identify and protect your assets in divorce. The most ideal way to protect your assets is to create a prenuptial agreement before marriage, but since it’s too late, the above tips will help you receive what you are entitled to, and you aren’t left out in the cold with nothing.