Protecting Assets in Divorce
There are two primary parts of divorce law. One part, that is in every divorce, is the area of property, including assets and liabilities. The other part of divorce law is when there are children involved – and not every divorce has children involved. But every divorce will deal with some sort of property – including some of these types of property: personal property and things, real property, accounts, investments or business interests of some kind.
Know Your Assets
In order to protect your assets, you need to know what you have. If you are considering divorce, do an early assessment of all of the marital assets to get a good picture of the entire marital estate. When you are looking at the assets remember that you have an interest in all of the community property. Look at everything and make an inventory.
Analyze Your Assets
It is important to take a look at each asset and find out all you can about it. Every situation is different. But, one thing is the same for all estates; you need to know as much as you can about each piece of property including accounts, personal belongings, and real property. For instance, remember all money earned during the marriage is community property, even if you and your spouse bank separately, so include your spouse’s bank accounts on your list even if you don’t have access to the accounts. And, look at the assets and note what, if any, were gifts and any other details you may remember about the gift. Also, note what assets or accounts were owned before you got married.
Talk with Your Lawyer about Your Assets
Meet with an experienced divorce attorney and discuss all of your information and questions with her. Your list will give your attorney a good place to start talking with you about your marital estate. If you’re not sure about something, bring your questions too. Knowledge of your assets means power to choose how to move forward in your divorce. Your attorney should be able to talk with you about separate estate questions or issues also to help you establish the marital estate and begin to think about dividing the estate with you.
These are first steps in a divorce regarding property whether you anticipate litigation or negotiation including mediation.
Find an experienced divorce attorney to talk over the specifics of protecting your assets in divorce.
Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454