You have worked hard for your property, your belongings, and the money sitting in your bank account. Whether it’s the family home, vacation properties, a business, bank accounts, or retirement funds, the last thing you want is for your soon-to-be-ex to take more than their fair share.
When it comes to high net worth divorce, there’s a lot more at stake than in most divorce cases. The good news is that there are ways you can use to protect your belongings and your future. Here are some strategies that you can use to safeguard your assets in a high net worth divorce.
Understand How Assets Are Divided in California
The first step to maximizing your asset protection is understanding how exactly assets are split when two people separate. In California, there are two classifications of property:
- Community Property. Also known as marital property, this includes all assets obtained during the course of a couple’s marriage until separation.
- Separate Property. This includes items that a spouse owned or had before the marriage and continued to keep separate during the course of the marriage.
In times of divorce, separate property will stay undivided with the spouse who holds it, while any and all community property is subject to division between the parties. When initially filing for divorce, the two individuals will have the chance to agree on what is community property and what is separate property.
Additionally, California’s community property division laws split all assets exactly down the middle—a 50/50 split of the total value of the estate—unless otherwise indicated in a prenuptial agreement. This includes a 50/50 division of all debts incurred during the marriage.
Safeguarding Your Assets
With this in mind, what can you do to safeguard your assets during your marriage and when you begin the divorce process?
- Review your prenuptial agreement
- Communicate what is separate and what is marital property during the marriage
- Identify and review all of your assets
- Make copies of your financial assets, including bank, investment, and retirement accounts
- Create separate checking and savings accounts
- Establish credit in your own name
- Do not place inheritance money in your spouse’s name
- If possible, get copies of your spouse’s account statements
Speak With a Divorce Attorney
A high net worth divorce can be a stressful experience on your own and impact you for years to come. Oftentimes, the difference between having an unfair divorce outcome and protecting your assets comes down to having a skilled divorce attorney by your side.
At Gill Law Group, our attorneys will act as your legal advocates and help you make all the right moves throughout this process. You can rest assured that we will find a custom solution for your situation to safeguard your family’s future.