A divorce attorney can take several steps to help safeguard assets during a divorce. This includes accurately valuing assets and ensuring that nonmarital and separate property remain separate during the division process. Keeping comprehensive financial records is also essential. This should include bank statements, tax forms, investment portfolios, loan and credit card records, property deeds and other documentation.
Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help you determine how property is divided between you and your spouse in case of separation or divorce. If you have children from previous relationships, a prenup can make sure that they receive your share of assets rather than that of your new spouse. A prenup can also protect assets you accumulated before marriage, such as an antique hope chest or a beach house. However, a prenup must be fair and cannot violate the law on an equitable division of property or alimony. Therefore, it is important to consult a lawyer before drafting an agreement.
Additionally, you should be open with your partner about your assets and keep comprehensive records. This includes bank statements, investment portfolios, property deeds, and other financial documents. Keeping these records can provide peace of mind and clarity during the divorce. Having these documents also helps you avoid unnecessary legal disputes.
Transferring Assets to the Innocent Spouse
Unless you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, any assets you acquire during your marriage will be subject to division in the event of a divorce. This includes investment portfolios, baseball memorabilia collections, property deeds, and bank accounts. This is particularly true in community property states where anything acquired during a marriage may be eligible for a 50/50 split. Therefore, if you have separate assets that you wish to safeguard, it is important to make sure that you keep records of any transfers made before filing for divorce. Maintaining comprehensive financial records is vital to proving the value of any assets you wish to protect during a divorce. This can help to ensure that any monetary settlements you receive are fair. In addition, a Palm Desert divorce attorney can guide you regarding how to preserve and protect your financial interests during the divorce process.
Commingling of Separate and Marital Assets
When it comes to property issues during divorce, it is important that all spouses fully disclose their assets. This includes identifying separate and marital property and keeping accurate documentation of nonmarital property. This documentation may consist of a clear paper trail indicating that gifts and inheritances received by a spouse were intended for their exclusive use. This helps to protect those items from losing their separate property status and being subject to equitable distribution in court. Spouses should avoid commingling individual and marital assets by maintaining different bank, investment, and retirement accounts.
Additionally, any assets acquired by either party before marriage should be kept separate and not merged into marital property. For example, if Jesus buys a Cadillac before marrying Juana, this vehicle is considered his individual property and will not be subject to division in court. However, if Jesus trades in his Cadillac for another car during the marriage, the vehicle could be a marital asset subject to equitable distribution.
Maintaining Comprehensive Financial Records
Divorce is an emotionally and financially taxing process. It’s important to take the time to identify and protect your assets. This requires gathering financial documents, such as bank statements, investment portfolios, property deeds and other legal paperwork. Also, be sure to keep nonmarital assets separate from marital ones and avoid commingling them to preserve their status as nonmarital. Make copies of all important documents for safekeeping, especially if you have joint accounts. It would help if you also considered closing those accounts and opening individual ones to avoid commingling assets.
Additionally, please take photographs of your belongings and their value, as well as any valuable family heirlooms or other items that may be at risk of being handled by your soon-to-be ex. Additionally, be careful not to make sudden large purchases or liquidate assets, as the court can view these actions unfavorably and impact how your assets are distributed. Working with a divorce attorney can help protect your support during a divorce.