The structure of the family has changed in recent years. It is not uncommon for both partners in a marriage to pursue their careers, or for the woman to pursue her career while the man takes over the role as the homemaker.
Regardless of the structure chosen in your relationship, those who out earn their spouse may have concerns about how the assets would be divided in the event of a divorce. The following tips can help to better ensure that assets are protected:
- Do not play games. Although it may be tempting, it is important not to try to hide any assets. These attempts will likely be thwarted and will hinder negotiations. Instead, talk openly about finances.
- Have a prenup or postnup agreement in place. Prenuptial agreements are pretty well known, but postnuptial agreements may not be. These agreements serve the same purpose, to clearly state who owns what and how things would be divided in the event of a divorce. The only difference is when these legal documents are executed. A prenup is put into effect prior to the marriage; a postnup is used after the couple is already married.
- Protect business interests. If you own or have interest in a business, it is wise to take steps to protect the business. This could be done in a number of ways, such as including a provision within the pre or post nup addressing the fate of the business.
Think Financially, a website dedicated to the education and empowerment of women that face divorce, published a piece touching on this issue. It noted that, in some cases, the use of trusts may also help to protect assets. Although these legal tools can provide a great deal of protection, they need to be structured carefully. Without the proper wording, the device can fail to meet its purpose and cause more trouble than it’s worth.