How to protect your assets in a divorce

 AdobeStock_43562847_assets - Grant, Miller & Smith, LLC

Divorce can be a costly process, particularly if you and your spouse are dividing significant financial and property assets. Taking steps to protect your assets before you file for divorce can help you obtain a fair outcome.

Determine your property value

To split things equally, you must know the precise value of your assets, including real estate and personal property. Between renovations and changing property prices, your home’s price may have increased during your marriage. A home appraisal can give you a more accurate sense of your property value. You can also hire an appraiser to examine valuable personal possessions, such as fine art and luxury vehicles.

Disclose your assets openly

You must avoid the temptation to hide assets as the law considers this contempt of court. Concealing assets and attempting to deceive the court can backfire, and the judge can order you to pay more to your former spouse. Therefore, you should present your attorney with a thorough account of your assets as well as those of your spouse. Your legal team can better protect your property if they have an accurate idea of what you and your spouse own.

Consider tax implications

When deciding how to split certain financial assets, you should account for any taxes or fees you might need to pay. For example, selling stocks can result in capital gains taxes, which can impact the value of your portfolio. Furthermore, you might need to pay income taxes and withdrawal fees when splitting assets in a retirement fund like a 401(k).

Diving property is a challenging aspect of divorce. Having an honest, accurate valuation of the assets you and your spouse own makes it easier to arrive at an equitable conclusion.

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