A common concern for many people who are going through a difficult divorce is how they can protect their assets. This is particularly true for couples who have many high value assets such as a business or multiple properties. In this blog, we explain a few ways you can protect your assets when going through a divorce.
Open Accounts in Your Name
If you're a spouse who doesn’t work, it's important to establish your own credit history as soon as possible, in case you later need to apply for a car loan or mortgage. Even if you have your own credit history, most lawyers will advise freezing or closing joint bank and credit card accounts to shield you from liability, in case your ex goes on a spending spree. You should also change your insurance policies to reflect your new marital status as well.
Keep an Inventory of Your Assets & Debts
Ask for your attorney to help you obtain a full disclosure of all joint and individually owned financial assets, this way you know where your money is and where it should go. You should make copies of all financial documents for loans, credit card accounts, home equity lines, past tax returns, and business debts. You'll also want to determine your "non-marital assets." These assets are considered to belong to one specific spouse.
Sort Out Your Mortgage & Rent Payments
Your mortgage company and landlord will still expect payments to be made on time, regardless of what you are going through in your personal life. Although you might want to move into your own place as soon as possible, doing so might hurt your claim to the home. Furthermore, you will still be responsible for at least half the mortgage payment on the house you own with your spouse. Sometimes an agreement can be reached about who will keep the home, but it usually makes more sense financially to sell it.
Change Your will
When you are preparing for your divorce, you should adjust your will to reflect your new situation. It is likely that you will no longer want your former spouse to be the trustee or administrator of your estate, so make sure to make these changes as soon as possible to ensure the assets in your will are protected.
Need help with your divorce? Contact our Dayton team of divorce attorneys to find out how we can assist you today.