When a couple separates, regardless of marital status, the two may face difficulties dividing shared assets. However, there may be several ways that couples can make the process of property division easier if the two parties ever part ways.
According to one divorce attorney who has practiced for 20 years in the state of California, in order to avoid becoming involved in a civil lawsuit involving certain assets after a breakup, some couples may benefit from getting a property pre-nuptial agreement regarding larger purchases. Such agreements define what happens to property in the event of a separation and may include assets such as vehicles, houses and pets.
A financial planner and author also suggests that couples should maintain individual independent accounts while also keeping a joint account for expenses related to the household. This protects each party’s finances when a breakup occurs because both parties have equal legal access to joint accounts. If one party decides to drain the assets of a joint account, the other may be subject to excess financial stress without legal recourse.
While these strategies may make the dissolution of a marriage easier in terms of property division, the process of divorce is often difficult and complicated. Those pursuing a divorce may benefit from working with a family law attorney. That attorney may be able to help by advising a client throughout the legal proceedings and work protect that client’s personal property. The attorney might also represent the client during negotiations with other parities and in court during the divorce process.
Source: Main Street, “Splitting Up Your Finances After You Split“, Nicholas Pell, December 18, 2013