One of the biggest fears for those going through a divorce is financial security. Marriage is the union of two spouses, including all of the finances and assets from each party. But in many cases this fear is the tether keeping partners in relationships that just aren’t working. And can get messier when children are in the picture.

We have spoken to some family law lawyer to get a little advice about this. Not that things will necessarily go south, and hey, in many cases they don’t, but as they say ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’. In particular, they have said it is incredibly valuable to in set up clear financial protection in advance.

 

  1. Prenuptial agreement

A written agreement before a couple enter into a marriage. Family law lawyer say it can be seen as a way to put all the cards on the table right from the word go. This is a sensible way to put safeguards on your marriage. Not forming a clear agreement about whose is whose leaves assets exposed.

document and pen

 

 

  1. Postnupital agreement

This is the agreement drawn up after a couple have gone into a marriage or civil union to settle assets. Similarly to the prenuptial, it’s a written contract regarding assets, but can have many variations on the specific content. Family law lawyer say these include…

  • Assets
  • Paying outstanding debts
  • Clarifying personal and jointly owned belongings
  • Property split
  • Insurance coverage and will divisions

It’s very important for this to not be a result of pressure on either party. It should be a mutual, voluntary agreement. To ensure this, both spouses need to have independent consultations with family law lawyer, and be completely honest in this about assets and financial liabilities. Only when this is done can the document be valid and legally binding.

 

  1. Custodial savings for children

This is a simple savings bank account that can be set up by individual parents to create a financial cushion that only the respective parent and child can access, with the other spouse prohibited from touching it.

Family law lawyer advise…

  • That the account is only accessible through a financial or brokerage institution.
  • There are no set income or contribution requirements.
  • Money can be given to the child as cash, life insurance, savings bonds, stocks or annuities.
  • Once a minor child (under the age of 18) is no longer a minor, they are granted permission to use this money how and when they please.

However…

  • As a custodial savings account is considered an asset, it could lower the minor’s financial aid eligibility.
  • This is subject to state and federal taxes.

 

  1. Create your own cash stash account

Custody aside, any savings of your own are invaluable in creating personal financial security. Family law lawyer say putting cash aside independently will never go astray, and will have your own cushion there and ready if needed. You can’t be taken to court over this one.

 

  1. Your business in your name

Any businesses that are your own, should stay so. Keep them in your name and your name only, and keep your capitol and loan eligibility protected.

 

  1. Speak to family law lawyer

Last but not least, family law lawyer encourage both parties to speak to them in person, and get expert advise before proceeding. They’re all about providing the best support they can to reach a resolution and alleviate a messy dispute. Find out your exact  entitlements and obligations in your given situation.