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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

How to protect assets during a divorce

Californians have all heard the stories of couples who get divorced and find themselves struggling to stay afloat financially. If one is planning to divorce, there are steps one can take to protect money and ensure financial stability, post-divorce.

Experts suggest that if one does not have their own bank account, they should open a solo checking and savings account. Residents can use the money in these accounts to cover any divorce-related fees and pay for post-divorce living expenses. They will also need to close all joint credit accounts by paying off the amount owed or putting the account in either their name or a spouse's name. In addition, make sure not to accrue more debt until the divorce is finalized. This will make the divorce process easier as there will be fewer debts to split.

Another important part of the divorce process is having solid documentation and knowledge of all assets and financial accounts, even if one's spouse was previously in charge of the finances. Make sure to have a copy of their credit report, as well as a copy of the spouse's report, and find out the value of pension and retirement accounts. Spouses will need to take photos of valuables and collect information on purchases.

The court will likely require a list of any marital property, or property purchased with marital funds. Marital property will be divided. If one is worried that their spouse will attempt to steal or destroy valuables, they are allowed to keep them safe, as long as they disclose them to the court.

Preparing for divorce requires one to be well-informed and organized. If one needs assistance, consider discussing the case with an experienced divorce attorney.

Source: The Good Men Project, "11 Tips for Protecting Your Assets During Divorce," April 18, 2018

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