Protecting your assets during a divorce is one of the primary concerns of any party involved in a case of family law in Springfield, Ohio. Whether you are seeking to protect finances, material property or investments, the proper steps must be taken in order to give yourself the best chance of holding onto your earned assets.
Even if a prenuptial agreement was signed before marriage, it can still be challenged by either party during the divorce proceedings. Even if you think your assets are 100 percent secure during a divorce, you should still take the following preventative measures:
Immediately Consult with an Attorney
If you’ve been served divorce papers, the first thing that you should do is contact an attorney. Do not sign anything, do not agree to any terms delivered by the other party and do not ever appear in court without an attorney present.
You should do your best to avoid speaking about the terms of the divorce with your spouse and call an attorney right away.
Begin Preparing Your Financial Documents
Start gathering any financial records including income and bank statements, tax returns, retirement and investment accounts, etc. so that you can make copies of them. This will allow your attorney to begin preparing the necessary documentation needed for the court proceedings.
You should also make copies of anything in your spouse’s name alone so that your attorney can have a record of them. This includes any business records related to a company that your spouse owns.
This should be done as soon as possible. In extreme cases, a person’s spouse has been known to take the documents and leave their partner with the annoying task of contacting financial institutions for additional copies.
Start Building New Credit and Bank Accounts
It’s usually best to begin separating your finances from your spouse right away. You should immediately open new checking and saving accounts in your own name and if you can, open a credit card in your name to establish a new line of credit.
Get Any Other Paperwork in Order
Finally, you should gather medical bills, benefits and insurance information (whether employer-paid or private), your marriage license and any other necessary documentation in your or your spouse’s name so that copies can be made by your attorney.
Catalog Valuable Items
Once you have copies made of all necessary paperwork, start making an inventory of any valuable items in which you share ownership with your spouse. This can include any of the following items:
- Real estate
- Automobiles, boats, planes, etc.
- Antiques, family heirlooms and artwork
- Sports equipment
You should take pictures of as many items as you can so that you have proof that the items exist.
Take Everything to Your Attorney
It may sound like a lot of work, but if you want to protect your assets during a divorce, it is imperative that you get any and all records of property and finances to an attorney right away. If you have been served divorce papers or are planning on initiating divorce proceedings yourself, contact the law office of Michael T. Edwards today.