Family law issues, like divorce or separation proceedings, can have substantial financial ramifications. To safeguard your assets during these difficult times, it’s crucial that you fully understand their potential impact and take proactive measures to protect them. Let’s look at key financial steps to consider.
Understand Your Financial Situation
Before making any major decisions, it is vital to gain a complete understanding of your financial status. Create an inventory of all your assets – bank accounts, investments, real estate, business interests and personal property. Also gather documentation regarding any debts such as loans or credit card bills so as to have a firm foundation for negotiations while safeguarding assets.
Consult with a Financial Advisor
Engage a qualified financial advisor during family law proceedings, they will provide you with insight into tax implications, asset valuation and long-term planning needs. A financial advisor can also assist with evaluating possible settlement options that best align with your long-term financial goals.
Preserve Financial Records
Keep copies of bank statements, tax returns, investment statements and any other financial documents which serve as evidence of your financial standing and can help protect assets during property division negotiations. It is also a good idea to collect evidence of any separate property acquired prior to or post marriage through inheritance or gifts.
Consider Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are legally enforceable contracts that outline how assets will be divided in the event of divorce or separation, protecting assets by setting clear guidelines for property division. Consult a family law attorney at Rowe and Manning to understand their requirements and implications before entering such agreements into force.
Protecting Business Interests
If you own a business, steps should be taken to safeguard its interests in family law matters. Consult an experienced business attorney and explore strategies such as shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements or trust establishment could all help to safeguard assets for future use.
Update Estate Planning Documents
Family law matters often necessitate a review and update of estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and beneficiary designations. Make sure that your wishes regarding asset distribution and guardianship of children are accurately reflected within these documents, consult an estate planning attorney if any necessary amendments need to be made and ensure your estate plan reflects your current circumstances.