Nobody ever gets married with the intention of divorcing, but the sad reality is that over half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce. In addition to the mental, emotional, and psychological difficulties associated with terminating a marriage, one must make financial considerations.
Our attorneys at Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd, are experienced attorneys for divorce proceedings, even if the circumstances seem impossibly complicated. This article covers prenuptial agreements, how to create an efficient asset protection strategy, the best strategies to safeguard your finances, and what to do if your spouse is trying to hide marital assets.
How Assets Are Treated in Divorce
Knowing who owns which and what property distribution laws apply in your state is the first step to protecting assets from a divorce. When determining who receives what during a divorce, the courts analyze what is deemed specific property against what is deemed marital property.
Any possessions you and your spouse obtain after marriage are considered marital property. That could, for instance, include the following:
- Your primary residence
- Vacation homes or rental properties
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts, including 401k plans and IRAs
- Business assets
- Antiques or collectibles
- Pensions or annuities
- Taxable investment accounts
- College savings accounts established on behalf of your children
Any property each of you owned before getting married is considered separate property. The court may also consider certain assets acquired after marriage as separate property, depending on the regulations in your jurisdiction. For instance, if a relative dies and leaves you alone with a $1 million inheritance, the court might interpret that gift as an independent property.
How can you protect assets from divorce?
One of the most frequent legal proceedings in the US is divorce, which regrettably can be very difficult, emotionally, and mentally taxing.
Divorcing partners may act irrationally, with anger, or even spitefully. Sometimes, a spouse will spend, hide, or destroy marital assets to avoid an equal division of their assets. Taking preventative measures and creating a sound asset protection strategy is crucial. The best ways to safeguard assets during a divorce are as follows:
Identify what property you own and your spouse owns
If your marriage is crumbling and divorce is coming, thoroughly inventory all the assets you and your spouse own. You should add up all jointly owned assets, evaluate your net worth, check your accounts for available funds, and list every debt and liability.
Typical assets are:
- Primary home or residence
- Shared investment accounts
- Bank accounts
- IRAs and 401(k)s
- Personal property
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
- Cryptocurrency, stock market currencies
- Business equity or proceeds
All assets accumulated before marriage are considered separate property; what you both obtained while married is known as marital property.
Knowing the total value of your assets
The next step in developing an asset protection strategy is determining your assets’ worth. During divorce procedures, the court frequently assesses the quantity of property and level of income that each spouse had before and after their marriage. Consider using a personal finance expert for the most precise value.
Separate bank accounts, property, and debt
Separating your spouse’s and your assets and property, including debts, bank accounts, and personal property, is another crucial step. Close your joint account and start a new one in its place. Maintain thorough records of your financial transactions, and collect all required financial documentation. Keep these documents on hand if the judge needs to consult them during the trial.
Know the laws in your state.
State laws differ concerning alimony, child custody, community property, equitable distribution, and marital property. Knowing your state’s rules on asset preservation and divorce is a crucial first step for any spouse. For instance, if your state (such as Texas, California, or Washington) has community property rules, you can lose half of your jointly owned property and assets after the divorce.
Anything judged as marital property is eligible for a 50/50 split, while separate property is not. It would be best if you started by doing internet research or setting up a meeting with a divorce or asset protection lawyer in your state.
Know the tax laws
Couples going through divorce frequently need to pay more attention to relevant tax regulations and laws. Typically, one spouse would receive tax-free assets (retirement savings) while the other would receive taxable assets.
For instance, a husband could get $50,000 from a stockbroker and bank account following a divorce, but the wife can access $50,000 from a 401(k). As a result, while the husband could withdraw money without paying taxes, the wife could not.
Change your beneficiaries
It would be best if you modified the beneficiaries of your will, retirement savings, and life insurance. Although state rules differ, most do not include ex-spouses as beneficiaries.
Most people change their beneficiaries to their kids, family members, or friends. Hire an estate planning lawyer to convert your joint will into an individual will if you have one.
Get Professional Advice
When defending your assets during a divorce, getting competent advice is crucial. That can entail working with a divorce lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor. You can understand how the divorce will affect your finances and create a strategy to safeguard your assets with the aid of a financial advisor. While a divorce attorney can offer legal counsel and serve as your legal representative in court, an accountant may help you comprehend the tax ramifications of divorce.
Looking for a Las Vegas divorce attorney to advocate your interests? Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd., could assist you.
Consider establishing a trust to protect assets during a divorce.
Laws governing fair distribution in divorce decide what assets are independent of marital assets. Although it varies depending on the circumstances and the state where you’re divorcing, an asset protection trust is typically considered separate property. To safeguard your assets throughout your divorce, you might want to take into account one of the trusts listed below:
- Irrevocable Trust
- Spendthrift trust
- Asset Protection trust
- Offshore trust
Keep Good Records
Maintaining accurate records is crucial to safeguarding your assets throughout a divorce. Your financial documents, including tax returns, investment, and bank statements, should be organized and easy to find. It will make it simpler for you to give the court and your spouse precise and comprehensive financial information. Maintaining accurate records can also help to prevent misstatements or undervaluations of your assets, which could have a detrimental effect on the terms of your divorce settlement.
To preserve your assets throughout a divorce, you must maintain transparency. It would be best to inform your spouse of all your financial details, including your debts and assets. It will make it more likely that both parties are completely informed of each other’s financial condition to ensure an equitable and fair divorce settlement. Additionally, transparency helps ensure a less complex and less risky divorce procedure by lowering the likelihood of money conflicts.
Although dividing assets during a divorce can be complex, taking early measures to protect assets can provide peace of mind and enable you to proceed confidently. It’s crucial to remember that divorce is a complicated procedure, and obtaining legal counsel can help guarantee a just and equitable allocation of assets.
Is it advisable to conceal assets either before or during a divorce?
No, it would be best if you didn’t conceal assets, money, or marital property before filing for divorce. However, protecting assets, which you can accomplish, differs from hiding assets. It depends on your unique situation, so consult an asset protection lawyer to determine whether it’s a good alternative.
How Prenuptial Agreements Safeguard Assets From Divorce
A prenuptial contract can safeguard your assets against a prospective divorce. It is a binding legal instrument that specifies how future assets will be divided and how the money will be distributed in the event of a divorce or death.
A prenuptial agreement safeguards the assets that each party possesses before the marriage. After marriage, marital property refers to the property. Being exact, thorough, and specific about your preferences for a future divorce is essential to preserving your assets with a prenuptial agreement.
You can also make a postnuptial agreement, which serves the same broad goal as a prenup and offers comparable protection. A postnup, however, only happens after marriage. In most cases, partners will create a postnuptial agreement to revise their prenuptial contract and appropriately represent any significant changes to either party’s finances or personal affairs.
What should I do if my spouse is hiding assets?
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, it can be a difficult and stressful situation to deal with. Here are some steps you can take:
- Gather information: Collect any financial documents you can access, such as bank statements, tax returns, and investment account statements. Look for any discrepancies or unusual transactions that could indicate hidden assets.
- Consider hiring a professional: Depending on the complexity of your financial situation, consult with a financial advisor or forensic accountant. These professionals can help you identify hidden assets and provide expert testimony if necessary.
- Talk to your spouse: It may be helpful to approach them calmly and ask if they are hiding assets. Be prepared to provide evidence if they deny it, but try to keep the conversation civil and avoid escalating the situation.
- Consult with a lawyer: If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, it may be necessary to involve a lawyer. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and work to uncover any hidden assets through the legal discovery process.
- Protect your assets: While you’re working to uncover any hidden assets, it’s vital to protect your financial interests. Consider opening a separate bank account or applying for a credit card in your name only.
Uncovering hidden assets can be complex and time-consuming, but ensuring that both parties are truthful and transparent in their financial dealings is crucial.
Need A Trusted Divorce Lawyer To Handle Your Case?
Obtaining the correct legal counsel can simplify and ease divorce cases. Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd. is committed to assisting people in Las Vegas to achieve the best possible outcome in their divorce.
A family law attorney can settle disagreements over child custody or property distribution and offer objective legal advice. Trust the attorneys at Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd. to help you navigate the divorce process rather than go through this challenging time alone.
Look no further if you’re looking for the best divorce attorneys in Las Vegas. Get in touch with Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd. Right away, start the process of protecting your future.
For more information on how https://dwp-law.com/ can help you on your Divorce, please contact us at (702) 474-0500, or visit us here:
3407 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89102, United States