When you think about divorce, you may be concerned about how to protect your assets and avoid financial ruin. Divorce will touch your bank accounts, investments, savings, entire businesses, real estate, and retirement accounts. However, you probably chose to stay in a bad marriage for a long time due to fear of losing these assets.
Thankfully, you can avoid financial ruin and protect most of your assets when you work with an experienced divorce attorney. Things don’t need to sideways. However, to have much control over your assets, you must consider seeking a collaborative divorce. You can click here to learn more about this type of divorce.
Community Property Distribution
In Utah, marital assets are divided equally between spouses. Thus, if you and your spouse cannot reach a divorce settlement outside of the courtroom, a judge will distribute your marital property equally between you two. But you and your spouse can deviate from the 50-50 split rule as long as the arrangement is fair and reasonable. If your divorce ends up in court, a judge will determine what’s marital property and separate property. All property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and must be equally divided in a divorce. Meanwhile, separate property isn’t subject to distribution in a divorce and includes any property one spouse owned before the marriage as well as inheritance and gifts that a spouse obtained before or during the marriage.
Tips to Protect Your Assets in a Divorce
To avoid losing your hard-earned assets in a divorce, you must be proactive and come up with an asset protection strategy. Here are some tips you should consider:
- Identify which property you own and what your spouse owns. If divorce is imminent, record an inventory of the property you and your spouse own. Common assets include vehicles shared investment accounts, IRAs and 401(k)s, bank accounts, pensions, real estate, personal property, retirement accounts, as well as business equity and proceeds.
- Conduct asset valuation. During divorce proceedings, a judge will usually assess every spouse’s property amount and income level before and after the marriage. Hire a finance expert to get an accurate valuation of your assets.
- Hire a skilled lawyer. To protect your assets during a divorce, you need an experienced lawyer on your side who has experience in asset protection. They can teach you ways to protect your assets when you get a divorce. Also, they can help you open an asset protection trust, so you can protect your assets and start a new life without finance-related worries.