If you are in the midst of a divorce, you may be concerned about the assets that your ex-spouse will try to touch. Unfortunately, if you have many joint assets together, you may find yourself spinning in circles in an attempt to safeguard what you own. In some cases, a lawyer may suggest that you establish an asset-protection trust if you have very significant assets or are headed for a lawsuit in the midst of your divorce. However, you may find many more expenses with this method and want to explore other options. In the middle of a divorce, you may find that your spouse is not acting like you expected them to, and may be out for blood. If this is the case, you want to consider the options that will protect you and what you own. This is where we come in, to help you every step of the way.
The first thing that you should do in the middle of a divorce is to make reference of what it is in your name, what is in your spouse’s name, and what you share. Depending on the state where you live, you may find that much of your stuff is protected or not very protected at all. For instance, there are states known as “community property” states, where your spouse owns half of everything you acquired during your marriage. In “separate property” states, everything in your name belongs to you and will remain that way. California is a “community property” state. Here are some more steps that you can take to protect yourself during a divorce:
Bank Account: Do you share a joint bank account with your ex-spouse? This is something to think about. You should always keep your money that you saved before the marriage separate from that account. If you have not combined that money with what you and your spouse have, then you remain the legal owner. However, since you are in a “community property” state in California, you should remember that whatever you deposit into an account is considered a marital asset unless you have established a date of separation with your ex-spouse.
Separation Established: This step will protect your income, which will help you majorly in the long run. If you have established this date, your spouse cannot claim half of your income as theirs. You can prove that you have legally separated by moving out.
Credit Established: You should apply for a credit card only in your name and never authorize your spouse as a joint account holder. If there is a divorce emergency, you will have this money to use.
Good Behavior: Act in good behavior, such as refraining from dating and staying away from parties until the divorce is finalized. During the actual divorce, you may find these things being used against you.
Joint Account Access: Review what you share with your spouse and what you don’t. If there are things that you do not own jointly, you may be able to close them but not otherwise. You may be able to call certain companies and limit access so that money is not drained from an account under any circumstances.
Divorce can be difficult. It can be a trying time that makes you feel alone, or scared, or drained. This is why we aim to help you when you are in the midst of a divorce and need our help. Call us today at The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes for more information on how we can guide you through the difficult process.