How Do I Protect My Assets In The Event Of A Divorce?

Donald Morris, CDFA®

March 15, 2018

If protecting your assets means that you want to keep all of your money, property, and possessions out of your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s hands, you’re probably out of luck. Any assets acquired during marriage are considered marital property and must be divided according to state law.

If you live in a community property state (i.e., California, Texas, or one of eight other states), you and your spouse must split any marital assets equally. However, in all other states, assets must be divided equitably (fairly) rather than equally. A financial neutral, such as a CDFA, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, can help you wade through the complexities of dividing assets equitably.

Don’t shortchange yourself by overlooking hidden assets.”

Don’t shortchange yourself by overlooking hidden assets. For instance, you may know your joint savings account balance and what possessions you must divide, but do you know the balance of your spouse’s pension plan? Does your spouse own a prepaid life insurance plan? Does your spouse have retirement funds (e.g., 401(k), IRAs) in his or her own name? These things will be considered marital assets as well.

Finally, don’t forget about debt. In general, you’ll be responsible for any debt acquired during the marriage, even if you didn’t run up the debt yourself. Make sure that the divorce settlement states who will be responsible for paying off all debts, and close all joint accounts.

Disclaimer: This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable. Columbus Divorce does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

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Don Morris is NOT AN ATTORNEY AND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. All information he provides should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas