The breakdown of a marriage is a difficult experience, but the majority of the stress during a divorce comes from negotiating the division of matrimonial assets. In this post, we discuss how to protect your assets before and during a divorce.
You and your spouse will have accumulated a vast range of assets over the course of your marriage, all of which will be included in the concluding financial settlement. A divorce can have a pretty hefty financial impact on those involved, so it’s not uncommon for one party to attempt to secure certain assets before the divorce has been settled. This makes it essential to know how to protect your assets.
Get Legal Guidance before Making Any Decisions
Before or in the early stages of a divorce, you won’t have a clear overview of all the assets that will be included in the financial settlement. Agreeing prior to receiving advice from a family lawyer could put you in a highly unfavourable position if you later realise you are entitled to more than what has been agreed. This not only makes things more complicated, but it also encourages mistrust and hostility.
Don’t Attempt to Hide Your Assets
Although the best way to protect your belongings is to hide them somewhere, when it comes to divorce assets, doing so conveys a message to the court that you attempted to deceive for your financial gain. A spouse might transfer certain assets to a third party or move funds into trusts or offshore accounts — but this will be discovered and should, therefore, be avoided.
Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
There are several ways to hide assets, a few of which we mentioned above. The most common is moving funds into another account or transferring it to a third party. If you are aware or simply suspect that your spouse is hiding assets of any kind, you should consult a family lawyer who has experience in cases involving the division of assets. If your spouse is unwilling to reveal said assets, your next step should be to seek a forensic accountant. If there are any funds or other assets hidden away, you can guarantee that they’ll find them.
Note: Opening bank statements that are not your own or logging into your spouse’s email accounts or online banking is not permitted by the court. Any evidence you might obtain in this manner is not generally admissible.
Don’t Move out of the Marital Home
The breakdown of a marriage and subsequent fallout can be very hostile, which, understandably, makes living together difficult. Despite this, it’s a smart move to remain in the family home with your spouse (and children if you have them). If you move out, it could be argued that your spouse is the primary caregiver, giving the court good reason to award them the home — as the wellbeing of children will be prioritised at all times. This doesn’t mean you will lose all rights to funds generated by selling the home, but it would no longer be your place of residence and you’d have to look for alternative accommodation.
Hire an Experienced Family Lawyer
Your best resource for legal services and guidance is an experienced, reputable family lawyer. They will be able to provide specialist knowledge and advice to ensure that can protect your assets both during and after your divorce. At KMJ Solicitors, our team of family lawyers works in all areas of family law — including divorce and separation, cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements and high-net-worth divorce. We have the wealth of skills and knowledge you need to protect your assets.
Want to learn more about how to protect your assets during a divorce? Get in touch today to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to receive advice and guidance from our team of experienced divorce lawyers.