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Stephen Beroes, Elizabeth A. Beroes, Julie Elizabeth Beroes, and Shanice Williams
Stephen Beroes, Elizabeth A. Beroes, Julie Elizabeth Beroes, Shanice Williams

How to protect assets in a divorce without being selfish

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2019 | Divorce, Property Division

When couples go through a divorce in Pennsylvania, it is natural for people to begin to start grasping at assets in the relationship. The longer a couple lived together and remained married, the more assets they accumulate together. If one person made significantly more than the other, then this can also create a complicated situation when it is time to divide up the spoils.

Keep a clear head and focus on compromise. It is easy for pending divorcees to only think of themselves, but divorce does not happen independently. It is the wrapping up of an agreement that previously existed on the premise of a permanent arrangement. So, here is how to protect assets while keeping that former commitment in mind.

Identify all assets

According to Business Insider, the first step is identifying all the assets and deciding who the current owners are. Even if one person paid for everything, the other spouse’s name may be on certain assets. It is the legal owner(s) that is most important. Get copies of financial statements as well so that everything is in writing, wherever possible.

Secure liquid assets

If there are joint accounts, withdrawing money may be the difference between being able to pay bills or not. There is no need to wipe out the account or close it, but spouses may want to ensure they have enough money to cover their expenses. If there is one primary breadwinner, leaving the account open may reduce the likelihood of creating a financial panic in the homemaker. That panic could have caused them to grasp for every asset they can get their hands on to protect themselves.

Remember the state laws

CNBC reminds divorcees or divorcees-to-be that state laws differ when it comes to property division after a divorce and alimony payments. The same is true of child support and child custody. Keep this in mind when deciding what state to get a divorce in, if someone has moved. This may have the greatest effect on the outcome of a divorce, especially for more vulnerable parties.

Compromise is arguably the best way to protect personal assets in a divorce without disregarding an ex’s best interest. It is unlikely that both parties will get everything they want, but if they can agree on a mutually beneficial deal, they may reduce the cost of divorce in time, money and emotional investment.