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If you live in Paramus and are going through a divorce, protecting your assets should be a top priority. The best way to do so is to seek advice from a Paramus divorce lawyer with a strong understanding of New Jersey law and Bergen County’s court system. They can help you make smart choices to ensure you divide your assets in a way that keeps your financial future secure.

Understanding Asset Division in Divorce

When you’re going through a divorce in New Jersey, the court looks at everything you and your spouse have together – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – and decides how to divide them fairly. This process is called “equitable distribution,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean splitting your assets 50/50. Instead, the court considers what’s fair based on many factors, such as how long you were married, your respective earning capacities, and what each of you contributed during the marriage.

Pre-Divorce Financial Planning

Pre-divorce financial planning involves taking specific steps to prepare for the division of assets and to minimize the financial strain that causes. Here’s a straightforward list of steps you can take to safeguard your assets before your divorce proceedings begin:

  • Gather financial documents like bank statements and retirement account information.
  • Take inventory of all marital and personal assets.
  • Open individual bank accounts in your name.
  • Establish credit in your own name by getting a credit card.
  • Create a detailed budget that accounts for your future living expenses.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy.
  • Discuss closing joint credit accounts with your spouse to prevent additional charges.
  • Document your valuables, including jewelry, art, and collectibles.
  • Review your insurance policies, including health, life, and property insurance.
  • Update your will and estate planning documents.
  • Make copies of all key financial records and store them in a safe place.
  • Consult a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Paramus, New Jersey, for advice.

Legal Instruments for Asset Protection in the Event of Divorce

Proactive planning and the use of various legal instruments can aid you in the event of a divorce by safeguarding what you’ve worked hard to earn, including personal savings, business assets, and retirement accounts. Let’s dive into some examples of useful legal instruments that can protect you before or during a divorce:

  • Postnuptial Agreements: Similar to a prenuptial agreement but signed after marriage, a postnuptial agreement can spell out who gets specific assets in the event of a divorce. Both spouses must make a full disclosure of their assets, seek independent representation, and sign the document under full understanding and without coercion for a postnuptial to be valid.
  • Buy-Sell Agreements: A buy-sell agreement is a must-have for any business owner. This document outlines what happens to your share of the company if you undergo a personal life change, like a divorce. It can specify that your share must be sold back to the company or to the remaining owners, preventing situations where an ex-spouse might claim a portion of the business. This type of agreement can keep your business stable and out of the marital asset division, protecting your livelihood and your company’s future.
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) can protect your retirement accounts during a divorce. A QDRO is a legal order that grants your ex-spouse a portion of your retirement benefits. However, it also specifies how to divide these benefits, ensuring that the division is fair and aligns with your long-term financial goals. For instance, by using a QDRO, you can avoid early withdrawal penalties and taxes.

Contact a Paramus Divorce Lawyer Now

Need help with asset protection in your Paramus divorce? Bozanian McGregor, LLC is here to support you. Contact us now for your initial consultation, and let’s work together toward securing your financial future.

About the Author
Elton’s passion has always been family, guardianship, and estate practice, and the complexities that accompany each unique, family-oriented matter.