Property division can be an incredibly complicated part of a divorce. It requires a lot of patience and negotiation to come to an agreeable solution for both you and your spouse. When it comes to high-asset cases, that process can take even longer to resolve.
High-asset divorces include those that feature extremely valuable assets such as expansive family estates; private vehicles, including cars, boats, or even planes; and sizeable retirement accounts, stocks and savings accounts. The more of these assets you might have, the more challenging your divorce may become.
How can I protect my assets?
The best way to protect your most valued assets is to plan as early as you can. These tips can help you maintain ownership over your assets in case of divorce:
- Sign a prenuptial agreement. Before marriage, you can sign a prenuptial agreement that outlines the conditions for asset division during a potential divorce. This lets you protect your most valuable assets and ensure that your spouse will not be able to claim a portion of your property.
- Sign a postnuptial agreement. If it’s too late for you to sign a prenup, or if you recently received a substantial asset such as an inheritance, a postnuptial agreement can offer you similar protections. You can create a postnup after marriage and provide the same details as you may have in a prenup—detailing which assets are ineligible during a divorce.
- Separate your income. If you have a sizeable income savings account, ensuring that money is separate from your spouse can protect it during a divorce. When you put all your income or savings into the same account, it may become marital property, meaning your spouse will have a chance to claim a portion during a divorce.
- Consider estate planning. When you have valuable assets, estate planning can be a great way to protect those assets. Estate planning allows you to properly catalog all of your assets, create trusts for protection and ensure your assets go to the right person if you pass away.
- Consult an attorney. High-asset divorces are especially complicated and may require the thorough guidance of an attorney. They can help you draft prenups and postnups, as well as offer advice on how to protect your assets during a divorce.
Divorce can be an emotional and challenging experience. If you have significant assets that you’re worried about, it can be even more of a struggle. By remembering these tips, you can do your best to protect your finances and ensure an ideal outcome for your divorce.