While there is nothing romantic about looking toward divorce before you are even married, statistics show that it may very well be practical to do so. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the reality is that about 10 percent of marriages fail within the first five years, and 25 percent of marriages don’t last ten years. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to take some very basic measures in order to keep your finances in order in the event that your marriage doesn’t work out.
A recent article in the Huffington Post recommends that you take three steps to protect yourself and your finances in case of a divorce down the road. First, you should always discuss the issues of debt and credit with your soon-to-be spouse prior to your wedding day. You need to find out about each other’s spending habits, debts, credit, and financial responsibility levels. If, for instance, one spouse has excessive credit card debt that only seems to increase, then it could be a problem for the other spouse, who tries to avoid debt at all costs. Likewise, you should ensure that you maintain credit in your own names, even after your marriage, so that you can more easily qualify for credit if necessary following a divorce.
Next, you should make every effort to protect premarital assets, or assets that you bring into the marriage. Especially in this time of second marriages and waiting until later in life to get married, the potential for one or both spouses to have greater amounts of assets at the time of the marriage is much higher. If you want to protect premarital assets, then you need to keep them separate throughout your marriage, and document their values at the time of the marriage.
Finally, you and your intended should sit down together and work on a financial plan for your life together. If you are both involved in your finances on a regular basis, then you can avoid any surprises about debts or expenses in the event that you do end up divorced.
Taking steps such as these to protect your finances and assets before marriage even occurs can be very helpful if your marriage doesn’t work out the way that you anticipated. However, even if you haven’t always kept a close eye on your marital finances, a well-qualified Oak Brook divorce attorney can make all the difference between leaving you with little or nothing and leaving you in the best position to start your new life. Contact our divorce lawyers in Oak Brook today for if you are contemplating divorce, or if you want more information about your rights regarding marital assets and debts in the event of a divorce.