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Tips for protecting assets during a long divorce

Everyone wants to get through a divorce as quickly as possible due to costly court fees, emotional turmoil and the additional stress of dividing assets. However, a “quickie divorce” may cause more problems in the future.

For example, it takes a significant amount of time to divide assets between spouses. If the process is rushed, a spouse may lose or give up assets they wanted to protect. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your asset division is done efficiently and accurately.

Know what property is eligible for division

Texas is one of nine states that follows a community property system for asset division. A community property state typically considers all property as shared unless proven otherwise. For example, anything owned before marriage or acquired by descent or as a gift is not consider divisible to the court.

Divisible assets are retirement accounts, financial portfolios, home and vacation properties, furniture, vehicles and even family businesses. If you know what assets are divisible during a divorce, you have a great place to start evaluating the actual value of the property.

Evaluate all your property

Both spouses should have an understanding of their assets and the property’s value before the divorce proceedings. However, the court does consider many factors when determining how the assets are divided, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The quality of spouses
  • The age and health of the partner
  • The earning potential and income of both spouses
  • The financial situation of the marriage
  • The financial needs of the parents to care for children

Collect the assets and records before the division

When you are starting the evaluation process for your assets, you can quickly gather together all the essential documents for the joint accounts, properties, etc. This will only help you determine your fair share of the assets and prevent your partner from hiding specific assets, such as valuable art or accounts.

Collecting the assets will also give you the opportunity to create a list of their goods and have a professional appraise any items for a specific value.

There are several other aspects to consider before the proceeding including an estate plan update, new accounts in your name and a parenting plan if there are children. If you ever feel overwhelmed, consult with family members who have gone through divorce or a legal professional.

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