Grey divorces in New York are quite complicated to navigate, given the years of marriage and what you have built together. It gets trickier when dividing your property, especially when working out which is separate and marital, and the fairest way of separating them. Well, to have an edge, read on to find out how you can protect your assets.
Identify and list your separate and marital property
Any asset or property that you acquired, earned, or accumulated when you married your spouse is marital property and is subject to equitable division in a divorce. On the other hand, anything you owned before your marriage, gifts or inheritance a loved one gave you, or compensation for personal injuries are separate property (the court won’t split them in a divorce). However, it is important to note that separate property can become marital property through commingling.
So, take inventory of everything you and your spouse owns and make a list of what’s separate and marital. You can then discuss with your lawyer to see how the court might divide them in preparation for the divorce.
Make sure that all your financial statements are up to date
It helps to be updated on all your assets and liabilities at all times so that nothing shocks you during your divorce. Know how much debt you and your spouse owe as well as the balances in your financial accounts.
Start setting up your own accounts
It is common to find couples using joint bank accounts, credit lines, businesses, and other assets. But, divorce can get ugly and messy, and you can find your spouse emptying what you own together or making impulsive decisions with your money. So, to protect your assets, consider having things on your name alone.
Revisit your agreements
If you have one, go through your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your lawyer and look for terms that your spouse or the court might challenge. Then come up with a proper legal tool to defend your rights and what you agreed upon.
Divorce is hard and stressful, but you can make it easier and more tolerable by preparing yourself well for it. Protect your assets by being vigilant and cautious about everything you and your spouse have.