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Early planning can prevent divorce headaches

Florida residents who are considering marriage may be well served to also think about what could happen to their finances if they get divorced. Many people think it's cynical to contemplate divorce, but the high rate of marriage failures makes divorce planning more likely to be relevant than many forms of common insurance policies found in most everyone's portfolio.

People often immediately think of prenuptial agreements when divorce planning is mentioned, but those are far from the only tool in the toolbox. Pre and postnuptial agreements can essentially adjudicate most aspects of a marital dissolution on the front end if proper steps are followed regarding disclosure of assets and other factors. However, there are some even simpler strategies that can be employed. The first is to simply maintain separate assets. Many couples elect to open individual accounts as well as a joint account from which joint bills are paid. Having separate finances can at least partially insulate one partner from the other person's creditors in the event of aggressive debt collection efforts.

It's a good idea for someone to keep the title to his or her property in his or her name only since adding a spouse's name can result in unintended consequences. For example, an untimely death could result in a surviving spouse landing in an unwanted partnership with the decedent's children from another marriage. Good record keeping is essential to any partnership, and this remains true with marriages. Keeping account statements from the period just prior to marriage can prove the value of certain assets, such as retirement accounts, that were individually owned by either spouse. This simple step can save people thousands of dollars in legal or accounting fees in the event of a later dispute over the value of assets.

There are numerous strategies available for asset protection, and the right one depends upon an individual's unique circumstances. Consulting a qualified family law attorney can provide guidance and insight to anyone wanting to cover his or her bases whether he or she is already married or not.

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Brandon Family Law Center, LLC

813-438-7119 or 800-769-0129 Contact Us for a Consultation