Monday, May 14, 2007

Safeguard Your Assets In A Divorce

  1. When going through a divorce it is very important to protect your assets. It is possible for an unsuspecting spouse to find on top of everything else, bank accounts were raided, stocks sold and insurance policies cashed. If you are a woman going through a divorce try to have joint liquid accounts transferred to your name. You may have to get your husband to sign documents but some banks just need one party to do this. The process is not so simple with assets such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other investments. Usually it is necessary to have both signatures to liquidate these assets, but, if you have signed a power of attorney in the past or if your husband’s new girlfriend tries to sign up in your place, you may in trouble.
  2. To combat these circumstances, make sure all institutions are aware you are going through a divorce and ask them to check for identification before accepting a transaction. One bad scenario would be if your husband runs off with a cash value of a life insurance policy. In this case, to protect yourself try to get that policy in your name. Sometimes the courts would require a husband to keep up the policy while you are separated. Another way to safeguard the assets is to keep track of account numbers and balances. Make copies for your attorney too. A wife should know what a husband’s pension looks like. Knowledge is power. At the very least, this would reduce some anxiety around an already stressful situation. The safeguarding goes both ways though. At this stage assets should be considered money you intend to protect until it can be divided equitably. However if you need to take out some money to pay for another marital asset like your home or child support then make sure your attorney understands the situation and has an account of it.
  3. Abby Johnson is a staff writer at and is an occasional contributor to several other websites