Divorce can be messy, especially if you're parting ways with a spouse you've been with for a long time. There are so many unresolved feelings that you need to navigate before you can come to terms with reality.
The possibility of losing half of your life's savings can make this time even more stressful for you. Let's take a look at some ways you can protect your assets during divorce.
1. Identify Your Assets
Before you can get down to the financial aspects of divorce, you need to have an idea about how much money you own and where you've kept it. Make sure you're aware of what belongs to you or your spouse, so it's easier for you to divide the assets when the time comes. This includes investments, mortgages, bank accounts, etc.
It's always safer to sign a prenup before getting married so that you can set your own terms regarding spousal support. But even if you didn't get a prenup, you can still safeguard your assets by focusing on the assets that are solely yours (inheritances, personal savings, property you own, etc). Make sure your attorney knows all about the cash you brought into the marriage and how you spent it, so it can be divided fairly.
2. Close All Your Jointly-Owned Accounts
You need to cancel your jointly-owned credit cards, but you must inform your spouse before doing so. This is necessary because most joint accounts can be used by either party to withdraw cash. If your spouse charges a huge sum, and you're not yet divorced, you'll both be liable to pay for it.
Don't empty any joint accounts before telling your spouse or you may run into legal problems later on. You can also put restriction on your joint bank accounts so that both parties' signatures are required to withdraw money to make sure your spouse doesn't get a chance to clean them out.
3. Protect Valuable Assets
When you're leaving an abusive marriage and you're afraid your spouse will damage valuable assets, you need to take these assets into your possession before any harm can be done. Make sure your spouse knows you're keeping them safe or they can use that against you in court.
Avoid selling them for cash because you'll have to pay the money back during the divorce settlement.
4. Get in Touch With a Tax Professional and a Financial Planner
It's advisable to get help from a tax professional to figure out how you can reduce your alimony payments or take advantage of tax credits to protect your money down the line. Instead of creating your own budget, you should hire a financial planner to do it for you as they'll have a more accurate idea of how you can organize your finances and live a decent life after divorce.
Now that you've learned how to protect your money during divorce, all that's left to do is curb your spending habits and make sure you have enough money for your day-to-day expenses as well as legal fees.
Going through a divorce can be extremely stressful, so you need all the legal support you can get to win your case.
At Atlanta Family Law Group, we put our client's needs above everything else. Contact us at (404) 963-9452 to discuss your divorce strategy and let us help you protect your assets during divorce.