Few people enter a marriage thinking about the future potential for a divorce. If they did, more couples would sign prenuptial agreements.
If you believe a divorce is imminent or the marriage starts to falter, you can take steps to protect yourself and still get a fair share of the marital assets during the divorce proceedings.
1. Develop your own credit
It is important to have a solid personal credit history. While you may rely on your spouse’s income and credit during a marriage, you may need to buy a car or home in your own name after a divorce. You need good credit if you want a lender to approve your loan application.
2. Create your own retirement accounts
Retirement accounts are assets generally split between spouses during a divorce if you obtained these assets during the marriage. If you build your own accounts and do not list the spouse on the documents, it protects you from a spouse taking an early distribution or borrowing from the account before the equitable division takes place.
3. Carefully title property and large purchases
When buying a house, ensure the deed includes both spouses’ names. The mortgage holder does not have automatic rights to the house if both names are on the deed. If you buy a car, make sure your name is on the title. Although the court makes decisions concerning marital property, it is prudent to have your property titled to include you both when acquiring it during the marriage.
You can ensure your financial security in the aftermath of divorce by proactively protecting your assets. Prenup agreements are also valuable for protecting assets and personal finances.