Protecting Your Assets During a Divorce
Going through a divorce is painful emotionally. It can also wreak havoc on your finances. Whether you have been married a short while or have spent years accumulating property and funds in financial accounts, your top priority should be protecting your assets. As experienced Bronx & Westchester estate planning and asset protection attorneys, we want you to be aware of the following issues, which could have a major impact in your divorce case.
Financial Impacts of Divorce
Divorce is an unfortunately common part of life for many people. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), between 40 and 50 percent of all couples will eventually break up. While you and your family will recover emotionally, your finances can end up taking a permanent hit. Plenty of people end up filing for bankruptcy during or after a divorce. Property and money you have worked hard to obtain for years could be easily lost. If you own a business, you could be faced with the prospect of selling or dealing with lost profits that take years to recoup.
Under New York divorce laws, any assets you earned, acquired, or accumulated over the course of your marriage will need to be divided between you and your spouse. This includes:
- Houses, vacation homes, commercial property, and other types of real estate;
- Cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and other types of vehicles;
- Furniture, household decor, and other types of personal belongings;
- Artwork, antiques, and collectibles;
- Financial accounts, which include stocks and investments;
- Retirement accounts and pension benefits;
- Partnerships and individually owned business assets.
In addition to dividing the above property and assets, you may also have to make alimony payments. This may be the case if you make significantly more than your former spouse or if they sacrificed their own career in support of you or your children.
Protecting Yourself During Divorce Proceedings
There are certain steps you need to take during divorce proceedings to protect yourself and your rights to certain assets. These include:
Get statements from financial accounts showing their value. These can prove useful if your spouse attempts to drain these funds.
Close any joint lines of credit. This can prevent them from racking up additional debts.
Do a complete inventory of all property you own. Pay close attention to items of value such as antiques and certain types of collectibles.
Get a formal valuation on any properties and businesses. Knowing the current value helps to ensure you get what you are entitled to in a settlement.
Document any marital misconduct on the part of your spouse. This could impact their rights in property division and alimony proceedings.
Update your estate planning documents. Change your will, powers of attorney, and personal representatives.
Let Us Help You Today
At Cavallo & Cavallo, protecting your best interests is our number one priority. To discuss the impact a divorce could have on your financial situation, contact our New York asset protection attorneys and request a consultation in our office today.