Protecting Assets and Property in a Divorce

Protecting Assets and Property in a Divorce

Posted By Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich || 18-Jan-2016

California State sees just about everything you and your ex once shared as “community property.” The idea is that during a divorce everything will be split fairly and equally while taking into consideration personal property that was acquired prior to the marriage. If documentation is not in order, you may quickly begin to disagree with your spouse over which property and assets belong to which of you. In order to avoid this frustrating game of “divorce tug-of-war” you can take a few steps upfront to protect what is yours.

Helpful Steps to Protect Your Property & Assets During Divorce

  1. Catalogue valuables: Heirlooms, jewelry, and more should be inventoried as thoroughly as possible. Mark down who gave you an item, when they gave it, and why, and store that information with a photograph of it.
  2. Stay put: Unless you are facing a domestic violence situation, you should remain in your family residence until the divorce finalizes. This can help the court recognize the importance of your property to you as well as increase your chances of winning child custody rights. The absent parent is usually not the winning parent.
  3. Check property status: If you are going to be the one to keep a family car or piece of real estate, you need to know if there are any liens or loans against them. Get a copy of all pertinent records before the divorce finalizes.
  4. Copy it all: Speaking of getting copies of lien records, you should also be getting copies of any and all financial records. The last thing you need is for your spouse to withdraw a sizeable sum right before the divorce without you ever realizing it until it is too late.
  5. Honest business practices: If you and your spouse shared a business together, things can get even more complicated. Do not attempt to hide anything about your business. Oppositely, if they hide anything from you, there are legal steps you can take to legally discover them.
  6. Going solo: Life doesn’t stand still after divorce, or even during it. Cancel joint credit card accounts that could be an area of concern. When you open up any additional accounts in the future, do so just in your name.
  7. Will work: Did you prepare a last will and testament? Congratulations for having the foresight! But now you need to go back and adjust it accordingly. Divorcing does not automatically discredit someone from inheriting your assets and property after you pass away. You need to remove them from your will and trusts manually.

Retain Professional Assistance

A divorce can escalate into a tangle of interests and the butting of heads without much warning. You might be tempted to just sign the paperwork and get it done with, but do not do this! The fastest way to lose property or assets that should have been yours is to hand it over because you didn’t read all of the fine print. Always work closely with a professional family law attorney before making any major decisions.

At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, our Riverside divorce lawyers can walk you through your divorce from beginning to end, ensuring that your best interests are never overshadowed. With 50+ years of combined legal experience and more than 5,000 divorce cases handled for our clients, we are the compassionate and skilled advocates you can depend on. Contact us today for more information or call 951.687.6003 for a free initial consultation.