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 January 28, 2016 |

Divorce can raise a whole host of issues, but one that nearly every couple has to face is how to handle financial matters. Property division often becomes a critical piece of the marriage dissolution process and for each party’s financial future. This issue should therefore be given adequate consideration, as failing to do so could result in an outcome that is unfair and financial devastating to Louisiana residents. However, it is critical to realize that protecting one’s financial interests actually begins prior to marriage, and continues throughout the relationship’s life.

So how does one protect his or her financial interests? One important thing to remember is to not use non-marital funds to pay off marital debts. When this occurs, the account, owned by one party prior to the marriage, could be deemed marital property, subjecting it to property division in the event of divorce. Likewise, individuals should avoid opening a joint account utilizing non-marital funds. Again, this would likely render those non-marital funds as commingled, transforming them into marital property and subject to division.

Those who owned a home or business prior to marriage should also realize that any increased value realized during the marriage may become marital property. This could change the dynamic of property division negotiations. This is why it is often essential to have assets valuated prior to reaching a divorce settlement.

With so much to worry about, married individuals and those about to get married may find themselves suddenly concerned. However, these matters can all be addressed before the relationship even turns bad. Perhaps the best way to do this is to sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. To learn more about these agreements and how they may be beneficial, parties may want to consider consulting an experienced Louisiana attorney.

Source: FindLaw, “Managing Marital Property – Do’s and Don’ts,” accessed on Jan. 22, 2016

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