North Carolina residents should take the necessary steps to protect their finances from the effects of a divorce. There are certain actions they can take before and during a marriage to ensure that their financial future is stable if their marriage ends.
A key part of protecting one’s finances is to make sure that important assets remain separate property. In addition to facilitating estate planning, maintaining separate property allows both parties of a married couple have more control over to whom their assets are distributed after they die.
One way to maintain separate property is to have separate financial accounts. While many couples like the convenience of having joint accounts to manage joint expenses, it is advisable for them to open brand-new accounts together instead of amending existing accounts by adding a partner. If funds have already been combined, new accounts in the appropriate party’s name should be opened if they receive an inheritance or gift. Separate accounts should also be used to handle expenses for assets that belong to just one party.
Individuals should take care with how they handle their real estate assets. Adding a spouse’s name on a deed can result in that spouse’s children becoming co-owners with the surviving spouse if their parent dies. Real estate that is separate property can also be converted to marital property if joint funds are used to pay for its maintenance, remodeling or the mortgage.
An attorney who practices divorce law may work to ensure that a client is able to retain the assets they need to be financially stable after a divorce. Litigation might be used to obtain favorable property division terms in high-asset divorces. The attorney may assist clients who are engaged with creating a prenuptial agreement that can protect their assets if a divorce occurs.