Everybody hopes to find a soulmate with whom they can live forever, but the sad reality is that almost half of all Americans get it wrong. It even gets worse with subsequent marriages. The best a person can do is to protect their assets in California so they can have something to fall back on in case their marital bliss turns into a nightmare. Here are some ideas.
Have a clear picture of what you and your partner own
You need an inventory of your assets. This includes your separate and jointly-owned assets, mortgages, income streams and other investments. You can use this information when drafting your marital agreement or tracking some of your assets that you might have commingled with your partner. Remember, California is a community state. Any property acquired or appreciated with the help of the other spouse in the marriage automatically belongs to both parties.
Get a marital agreement
If you are planning to get married in California and have significant assets, it might be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. This legal document outlines the distribution of assets in case a couple divorces. It can also protect any future earnings that either party may acquire during the marriage.
If you are already married, consider a post-marital agreement. This is similar to a prenup, but couples sign in after the marriage has already taken place.
Protect your businesses
In the event of a high-asset divorce, you have options like swapping your business for other assets, allowing your ex-spouse to buy you out, buying them out using other assets or cash or giving them a share if they can agree to remain a silent partner. In this instance, opting for an out-of-court separation where you can discuss and make these decisions together can make things smoother.
Embarking on the journey of safeguarding your assets during a divorce can be a challenging endeavor, particularly under the community property laws of California. Yet, it’s not insurmountable. The key is to remain informed and proactive, ensuring you are familiar with the value of your assets and the potential legal mechanisms available to protect them. There are so many options available depending on your specific circumstances.