Having certain financial safeguards in place in case of a divorce is something that should be considered by every Arizona couple who thinks they may get married. Legal devices such as prenuptial agreements may seem pessimistic, but they are actually common sense tools to protect oneself from the possible financial consequences of getting a divorce.
One of the most important steps individuals can take is to make sure that certain assets remain separate from their marital property. Not only does this facilitate estate planning, but it also provides individuals better control of determining to whom their assets should go after they die.
One way to keep assets separate is to maintain separate financial accounts. Many couples opt to use joint or shared accounts for convenience’s sake. However, it may be better to create brand-new joint accounts instead of adding a spouse onto one’s existing account. For individuals who have already combined their funds with those of their spouse, it is prudent to create a new account in their name if they are the recipient of an inheritance or gift. Separate accounts should also be used to handle any expenses associated with assets that are in one person’s name alone.
It is important how one handles any real estate they may own. Adding a spouse name to the title of a property can result in the spouse’s children from a prior marriage becoming co-owners of the property if the spouse dies. One should also refrain from using joint financial assets to pay the maintenance, mortgage or remodeling of a separately owned property.
A divorce attorney may advocate on behalf of a client for their desired settlement terms regarding property division. Litigation might be used during high-asset divorces to address the division of retirement funds and real estate.