How Can I Protect My Wealth In Divorce?

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This is the question that comes up with the gentleman who has a fair amount in assets and he is moving toward divorce and is afraid that he is going to lose a chunk of those assets in the divorce and he is wondering how he can protect himself.

So in this article we are going to give you three things that you can do to optimize your chances on property division. We want to prefer this by saying that these are not guarantees. You have to remember that the court has a lot of discretion in property division and so doing these things does not guarantee that you are going to keep more of your property. But generally we would consider these helpful.

Getting A Prenup

Number one is getting a prenup. If you are asking this question about protecting your property and you are moving toward divorce, chances are you don’t have a prenup. If you had prenup then you wouldn’t be as considered because you already addressed this issue. But it’s worth repeating and it’s worth mentioning here because a prenup is really the only way to fully optimize your chances of getting what you want at divorce. So if you don’t have a prenup you fall into the default category where the court considers a number of factors and does what they can or what they think is best to fairly divide the property. So option one is gets a prenup. If you don’t have a prenup then you can do the following.

Avoiding The Commingling Of Assets

Option two is avoiding the commingling of assets. And so what that means is when you mix something that you own personally whether it’s money or an asset with something that is owned jointly by you and your spouse. That is called commingling of assets, mixing of assets. And when you mix something personal with something joint you increase the likelihood that the court is going to divide that property. Again this is not a guarantee, this is not saying that if you keep money only in your individual account and that money will not be divided. In many cases the court will order that, that money also be part of the marital pot and divided.

However, especially in shorter marriages, if you reduce the amount of commingled property, if you keep more property only in your name, separate, away from marital property then you increase your chances of the court allowing you to keep that and not dividing it.

Filing For Divorce Sooner Rather Than Later

And finally, filing for divorce sooner rather than later. And so we want to preface this by saying that of course if there is a possibility of working through difficulties in your marriage and ending up happy in your relationship then you want to do that first. But if you have decided that the marriage is not going to work and you are definitely getting divorced then filling sooner rather than later and getting the divorce going effectively reduced the length of the marriage. And length of the marriage is one of the key factors. Generally the longer a marriage the more likely it is that the court is going to include all property for division whether owned individually or jointly. This is why it’s always a good idea to hire a professional divorce attorney to be by your side in court to make sure things go your way.

Conclusion

So if you are moving toward divorce you have decided that it’s definitely going to happen you should first consult with an attorney because there are circumstances in which it makes sense to hold off on filing for some period of time. But generally on the issue of property division and protecting your wealth and assets it usually makes sense to file sooner rather than later.