Guest Author Heather Hernandez is a freelance contributor based in Miami, FL. When she’s not indulging herself or her audience in Miami’s foodie culture, she takes the inspiration for her writing from her natural curiosities or the life experiences of the people that surround her. Her work covers many industries and address specific queries she or a colleague has had.
If you are getting ready to go through a divorce, you are probably wondering what you should do so that you can protect your assets. A divorce can rip your family apart and cause you to experience a range of emotions, but having your assets on the line creates even more stress. Asset protection is vital for anyone going through a high net worth divorce, so use the following steps as a guide to reduce the fallout.
Divorces get ugly and can cause people who once cared about each other to become spiteful and petty. This issue can make your divorce take much longer than needed, but it also makes it hard for you to safeguard your assets. Staying peaceful is the best option as far as asset protection is concerned because it allows you to split assets fairly without the roadblocks you would otherwise encounter. While it might not be easy, do your best to remain civil, and the process will be much easier for everyone involved.
Review Your Prenuptial Agreement
If you have a prenuptial agreement, now is a good time to have a divorce lawyer review it. Your divorce attorney can help you decide what assets the agreement will protect and which ones it won’t. You could feel tempted to skip this step if you believe your agreement covers everything, but doing so would be a vital mistake.
Situations change, and you could have special considerations that require the guidance of a caring legal expert. Having a legal expert review the document is a great way to prepare for what will likely happen in the coming weeks and months.
Create Separate Checking and Savings Accounts
Most married couples have joint checking accounts so that they can manage their budget together. Sadly, it’s common for one spouse to try draining joint accounts the second they plan on getting a divorce. If that happens, you could lose all of your assets until a court makes a ruling, which could take years. Moving your share of the funds to a separate account as soon as you learn of the upcoming divorce is smart.
Taxable and Nontaxable Assets
If you and your former spouse decide to split the assets up without a legal battle, make sure you know the difference between taxable and nontaxable assets. For example, you have equal funds in your retirement account and savings account. You might think giving your savings account to your spouse and keeping the retirement account is fair. If you want to take money out of your retirement account early, you must pay taxes and other penalties, but your spouse won’t need to do so with the savings account.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
The only safe bet when you are facing a high net worth divorce is to hire a divorce attorney. The legal expert you hire can review your assets and keep you informed on the latest laws related to your separation. Even if you and your spouse remain peaceful and agree on the terms, having a knowledgeable and caring lawyer in your corner is essential.
A divorce is a stressful experience that could impact you for years to come. If you don’t want to face the problem alone, enlisting a lawyer is the best choice. In addition to hiring a legal expert to protect your interests, taking other steps to keep yourself out of harm’s way is wise.
Staying peaceful is the No. 1 way to proceed while minimizing the fallout on both sides. Taking this tip and the other advice into account before acting will reduce the damage and make it much easier to move forward with your life.