Although you never want to go into a marriage planning for divorce, being smart about how you manage your marital property – including your marital assets and debt – versus your separate property is crucial. That’s because, if you and your partner grow apart and the marriage does end up coming to an end, you can make sure your interests are effectively protected through an impending divorce.
To this end, below are some essential guidelines for managing marital versus separate property during a marriage. When you need professional advice regarding your best options for proceeding with a divorce in Arizona, don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Karen A. Schoenau.
How to Effectively Manage Your Marital Versus Separate Property
- Maintain a separate bank account – Whether you choose to open up a joint checking and/or savings account with your partner, be sure to keep a separate bank account that is in your name only. In this account, keep funds that you want to maintain as separate property. This can include money you brought into the marriage, as well as inheritance funds, cash gifts, etc. Having your own bank account can be critical if your marriage goes south in the future, as it can provide you with immediate access to money while keeping some funds fully separate from the marital finances.
- Consider developing a pre- or postnuptial agreement – If you have a business, real estate, or other assets that you specifically want to maintain as separate property in the marriage, it can be extremely helpful to devise a prenup (prior to the marriage) or a postnuptial agreement to layout these terms. When these agreements are appropriately devised, they can offer some important financial protections in the future.
- Avoid commingling separate property with marital property – One of the ways that division of property issues can become complicated in divorce is by commingling separate property with marital property. For instance, this can occur when separate funds are deposited into a joint bank account, making it difficult to draw a distinction between what is, in fact, separate versus community property later.
- Limit the number of lines of joint credit you open with a partner – The more joint lines of credit you share with a partner, the more marital debt there may be in the future – and that can complicate the division of marital property in divorce. By limiting the credit lines you share, however, you can keep this debt in check, providing you with more control over your marital property.
Contact Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen A. Schoenau
For exceptional representation in Arizona divorce, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-467-3435 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.