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How to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

How to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

How to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

Divorce is always a difficult process. Making the decision to end your marriage is not easy, and you may worry that you will lose everything that has become valuable to you over the years. Missouri is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets and liabilities are divided fairly, although not necessarily equally, during a divorce. Fortunately, you will not lose everything during divorce, but it is important to protect the assets you want to keep post-divorce. Below, our Missouri family law attorney explains how to do it.

Premarital Agreements

One of the best ways to protect your assets during divorce is through a premarital agreement. A premarital agreement can outline which party will retain certain property in the event of a divorce. Premarital agreements can provide a great deal of protection, including defining a business and retirement savings as separate property so they are not subject to division. A premarital agreement can also ensure children from another marriage are taken care of in the event of a divorce.

The Division of Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts and other investments are some of the most complex types of property to divide during a divorce. Any contribution made to these accounts before marriage is considered separate property and, therefore, is not divided during the divorce process. On the other hand, any contributions made to these accounts during the marriage are considered marital property and will be divided. If you and your spouse each have retirement savings of approximately the same value, you can agree to keep your own accounts, protecting them both from division.

Consider Tax Implications

It is easy to overlook the tax implications of dividing certain marital property. For example, withdrawing funds from a joint bank account will not result in any tax penalties. However, early withdrawals from retirement accounts and investments can incur penalties and tax consequences. It is important to remember this when determining which property you and your spouse will keep. 

If you have a retirement account and joint bank account of approximately the same value, you may think you can keep one with your spouse keeping the other. The spouse that receives the investment in this case may receive a lower portion than what is fair because they will be responsible for penalty fees and taxes.

Do Not Incur More Debt

Many people incur debt just before they get divorced, thinking that their spouse will be liable for repaying a significant portion of it. Unfortunately, family law judges recognize this tactic and do not look favorably at the party that incurred the debt. You will likely be liable for repaying the debt in full, and a judge may even award your spouse more in property to compensate for your actions.

Our Family Law Attorney in Missouri Can Help Protect what is Most Important to You

If you are going through a divorce, you need the help of a Missouri family law attorney who can help you protect the assets most important to you. Scott A. Hamblin has the necessary experience and expertise to advise on your case so you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.

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