If you enter a marriage with high-value assets, you will want to make sure those assets stay protected. Whether you own your own business, hold high-value stocks or own a lot of real estate, you want to ensure that you don’t lose these assets should you and your spouse decide to divorce.
While you may have started with a happy marriage, things can happen that lead to divorce. Here are some tips for protecting your assets in case your marriage ends:
- Sign a prenuptial agreement – If you have a lot of assets before marriage or have a significantly higher income than your spouse, you may want to sign a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. A prenup sets the conditions for asset division should you and your spouse divorce. While you may expect to stay married forever, a prenup protects your assets should you end up divorcing.
- Keep your income separate – If you have different forms of income, make sure to keep those separate. If you own your own business or have received an inheritance, commingling those funds with your spouse’s income makes that money marital property. Marital property is subject to division during divorce.
- Plan your estate – When you have a large amount of assets, you want to start planning your estate as soon as possible. Estate planning is always important when you have high assets. But it can also help protect your money by separating it before it becomes marital property.
- Prepare to pay for spousal support– If you work while your spouse takes care of your home and children, you will likely have to pay spousal support after divorce. While you can address spousal support in a prenup, your spouse can challenge the prenup in divorce if he or she feels that circumstances have changed. Make sure you are financially prepared for spousal support.
- Seek legal advice – Whether you need advice before your marriage for a prenup, during your marriage for financial guidance or during your divorce, a qualified attorney can help you make decisions that benefit you. Divorce is a complicated process. The more help you have on your side, the better.
When you have high assets or income, you want to make sure divorce doesn’t ruin your finances. While you hope to stay with your spouse forever, divorce can happen. Make sure to follow steps that protect your finances if you get divorced.