How can I protect my finances during a divorce?

If you are in the process of a divorce, important decisions must be made regarding a handful of issues including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. These decisions should not be taken lightly; what you say and do today could have ramifications further down the line.

You will soon be on your own, and it is in your best interests to make sure you are well-prepared for the potential battle up ahead concerning these decisions.

These decisions can become especially tricky if there are multiple properties, retirement accounts and various investments involved from the marriage. When dividing up these assets, it is important to take both short and long-term philosophies and goals in mind. Although it would be easiest to assign a current value to each item, you need to look at your future and financial security as well.

When dividing these properties, a distinction needs to be made between your separate and marital properties. Separate property is property that was acquired outside of a marriage. This could include a previous house, inheritance, or even a gift obtained from a third party. Marital property is property obtained during the course of a marriage. This is typically true regardless of who the property is titled to.

If you are in the process of a divorce and you are uncertain whether the decisions of the courts will be equal or favorable with regards to property division, you may want to speak with a law firm familiar with divorce. Having strong reputation at your side can often made a significant difference.

Source: Forbes, "Understanding How Assets Get Divided In Divorce," Jeff Landers, April 11, 2011

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