When you get married, you adapt to a particular lifestyle with your partner. This lifestyle often includes merging a lot of aspects of your lives, including property. This can become a problem when you get a divorce. Many places require a waiting period when you file for divorce. For instance, Kansas makes you wait 60 days before it becomes official. Use this time to prepare for your life after divorce. If you want to protect your property after a divorce, here are some ways to do so.
1. Plan Ahead
Nobody wants to go into their marriage thinking about divorce. But if you and your partner sign a prenup, property ownership will be much clearer for anything you need to figure out in the future. So be practical from the beginning of your relationship. Figure out your wills and prenups in order to make sure that you and your children are secure. You don’t want to make things difficult for a spouse with young children if you die without a will. Likewise, you don’t want to make things harder for yourself if your marriage ends in divorce. With the proper paperwork filed, you and your ex can easily and fairly determine who gets what.
2. Establish Good Credit
If you want to be able to take out loans, purchase a car, or do many of the other things independent adults do in modern society, you need to establish good credit. Having good credit will help you protect your property after a divorce. Since you haven’t been reliant on your spouse’s credit score, you’ve been able to buy and finance things yourself. This is another area where long-term preparation is essential to keeping your property and maintaining your lifestyle. It is not something that can rescue you at the last minute, but if you maintain good credit throughout your marriage, you can keep yourself independent and take anything that you purchased with your own buying power with you.
3. Understand Your Finances
If you’re the type of person who gets overwhelmed by finances, you might have left this responsibility to your partner throughout your marriage. However, now is the time to get familiar with your financial situation and what it means for both of you. Figure out what your bills are and where the money to pay them is coming from. Ideally, you’ve been involved with the financial aspects of your marriage for a while and have taken the step of understanding them long before now. But if you have not, you can still give yourself the skills you need to defend your property rights in court if necessary.
4. Know What You Own
When you get a divorce, you will need to list out all of your assets. You and your ex should figure out exactly what you have, including things you might not expect. Consider things like savings accounts, stocks, and retirement funds. However, also consider things like businesses or property. If you own a farm, you need to carefully consider your assets there. In 2014, there were 913 million acres of farms in the United States. This number decreased to 896 million acres by 2020. If you don’t know exactly what you own, you won’t be able to fight for your right to keep it. So make sure it is very clear who owns what as you figure out your divorce.
With a combination of long-term and short-term preparation, you can help yourself protect your property after divorce. So, even if you aren’t considering the possibility of divorce right now, take steps to keep yourself independent. That way, if the day ever comes, you’ll be in a good place to protect yourself and your property.