Protecting Your Assets During Divorce
A divorce can be a long, drawn-out process. Dividing assets and making decisions regarding joint property can take months or even years. If you held significant assets prior to marriage or have acquired significant assets during your marriage, you may wonder what options you have to protect them from being divided by the courts. A trust may be an ideal solution for an individual who wants to protect his or her assets during a divorce.
Trusts established prior to marriage are generally treated as separate property. If you established a trust before marriage, the courts will generally treat that trust as your sole and separate property. Such trusts are particularly beneficial for self-employed individuals and business owners who want to protect themselves financially before entering a marriage.
A trust designed to support a sole beneficiary may not be included during alimony calculations.In some states, a trust with a sole beneficiary is treated much like a trust established before marriage. This means that the partner who is the trust beneficiary may ask the court to exclude trust monies from alimony calculations.
A trust with carefully crafted conditions can protect assets during a divorce. Whether or not a trust will be considered separate property during a divorce is largely determined by the conditions and terms of the trust itself. It is important to have an attorney experienced in drafting trusts draw up trust documents.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about what will happen to your assets, speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Only an attorney can give you guidance that is suited to your particular situation. The Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. in Palm Harbor and Clearwater/Largo are available to discuss actions you can take to protect your assets.