When Illinois residents get married, they hope the relationship will stand the test of time. However, they’re also realistic, so many couples put protections in place that help them shield their assets if the marriage doesn’t work out. There are several protections that actually help, and there are others that may not offer as much protection as people think.
What can married people do to help protect their assets in case they divorce?
Getting a prenup is one of the best ways for someone to protect their assets. Prenups explicitly lay out how couples should split assets if they divorce. Prenups are tailored to fit a couple’s unique circumstances, so they’re great for all types of financial situations.
Individuals can also make a detailed list of their personal assets and property before they get married. This documentation will provide proof of ownership if they have to divide property in case of divorce.
People who get inheritances should keep those inheritances entirely separate from the joint marital finances. If the marriage goes south, the inheritance becomes joint property if the beneficiary placed it into the couple’s joint account or used it to pay for joint expenses.
Separating bank accounts is not as safe as people think when it comes to protecting personal assets in a marriage. Some couples purposely keep separate personal bank accounts while sharing a joint account. They assume that this setup protects their personal funds in case of a divorce. In many states, this is not always the case. People who live in community property states often have a hard time convincing a court that their personal accounts contain only their money. Many courts will view this money as marital property.
Who can people turn to for help with divorce and finances?
Protecting one’s assets during a divorce might feel overwhelming. People dealing with property division concerns may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience handling financial issues relating to divorce.