Ending a marriage is seldom easy. However, if one does not take the time to prepare well, the aftermath may be even more difficult. If a Pennsylvania couple has acquired considerable assets, they may have a great deal of sorting to do before property division can take place. When preparing for a high asset divorce, there are some specific tasks that will need to be completed to ensure one receives a fair settlement.
Any joint accounts should be frozen or closed. This includes bank accounts, credit cards and any open lines of credit. This will prevent one spouse from going on a spending spree or removing money without the other's permission. Meanwhile, each spouse should open a separate bank account and begin establishing credit for himself or herself by obtaining a credit card.
If either spouse has non-marital property that has been combined with the joint property, he or she may want to begin separating it. This may take time since some assets may need to be traced. Non-marital property is anything one spouse acquired apart from the other, for example an inheritance, a personal injury award, individual gifts or property one owned before getting married. On the other hand, one spouse may be keeping marital assets secret from the other, so a careful review of accounts may be necessary.
Throughout all of these steps, having the advice and assistance of an attorney will ensure one's rights and property are protected. A skilled Pennsylvania family law attorney will have the resources to search for assets one's spouse may be trying to hide and evaluate the issues that frequently arise in a high asset divorce. With adequate preparation and a dedicated advocate, one can look forward to a fresh start.
Source: wtop.com, "Top six tips to avoid divorce mistakes", Shoun Bach, Dec. 16, 2016