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Protecting Your Assets

Posted by attorney Julia Martindill

Messy divorce stories in the news often make individuals cringe as they file for their own divorce. Recently, a wife accused her husband of physical abuse in order to receive custody of their house. These allegations ended up being false, but before they were proved so, her husband had to live 200 meters away and he and his three sons slept on the floor of his mother’s house.

Even though the husband was the one who won the lottery and bought the $710,000 house during the couple’s separation, his wife will receive $247,370 in compensation, since the judge allowed him to keep the house.

This story has caused outrage, as many cannot believe that the wife is entitled to such an exorbitant amount, since her husband won the ticket and bought the house completely on his own (not to mention since she committed perjury). Horrific divorce processes, like these ones, cause others to shudder in trepidation as they file their own paperwork. But you don’t have to be unduly worried if you take the following wise measures:

If you are already in the midst of filing a divorce…

There are many ways to protect your assets as you begin the divorce process. Hiring a competent divorce attorney is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your possessions. Other helpful measures include: gathering all your bank account records and any records of the expensive items you own, securing whatever valuable items you can in a safe deposit box, listing anything that your spouse might have taken, having valuations made on any expensive items, destroying joint credit cards, closing out joint bank accounts, and getting a restraining order to prevent your spouse from spending any martial assets.

If you have just signed the marriage license…

If you are happily married at present, it is a good idea to participate in filing taxes with your spouse, so that you too know what assets are available. Sadly, 50% of marriages end in divorce, so it never hurts to remain aware of your financial status. Another good thing to keep tabs on is any debt you or your partner brings into your marriage.

If the need to file for a divorce is looming in your future, it is important to secure an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Don’t gamble with your happiness or livelihood! Or if you are currently happily married today, still make wise decisions that could prove invaluable in the years ahead.

Additional resources provided by the author

Julia Martindill is a family law attorney that serves Austin, Texas. Julia Martindill provides legal services in both English and Spanish.

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