When you start to consider divorce as a Missouri resident, it can bring up a lot of questions. If you have a lot of assets, you likely want to be sure they are protected. Understanding the procedures and rules associated with divorces and asset protection can go a long way toward setting you on the right path.
This blog is designed to explain the best way you can maximize your asset protection while moving into a divorce. We’ll look at the kind of distribution used in missions, the difference between types of assets, and various ways to protect the assets that mean something to you.
Before we delve into all the details, having access to an experienced Missouri divorce attorney can be a giant help as you move forward. This individual can look at the details of your situation and give you ideas and insight into what strategies might work best for you.
Consider a Prenuptial Agreement in Missouri
For those who are in the process of getting married, now is a great time to start protecting your assets. After all, you don’t want to have to share the things you worked for if you end up in a divorce in the future. Nobody wants to think about a marriage ending but they sometimes do, so it’s best to be realistic about the situation.
The best method to protect your wealth at this point is through a prenuptial agreement. The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is to put into writing how each person will handle their current personal property after marriage if a divorce occurs. Prenups also offer insight into the way marital property and spousal support will be handed.
As long as the prenuptial agreement meets Missouri’s requirements on lack of unconscionability, access to counsel, and disclosure, the document will likely be enforced in family court. An experienced attorney can help you draw up the document while making certain it meets all requirements.
If one person has lots of assets, a prenup could state that this property remains their separate property. This can also apply to income generated by the assets or additional assets purchased using earlier assets even during the marriage. It also may make access to inheritance or other gifts off-limits to the other spouse.
Draw Up an Irrevocable Trust
The problem is that prenups are near perfect. Some people don’t believe in them and the other spouse may choose not to sign one. Because of this, there are other methods to protect your assets when committing to a marriage. One of the most common options to safeguard property is an irrevocable trust.
In many cases, an irrevocable trust is used to avoid probate when someone dies. They can also be used to cut down on estate taxes and make sure kids or grandchildren can access the intended funds as grantors of a trust. These provide more legal protection than a revocable trust, which makes them the better choice for many people.
For example, a family with many assets may want to keep that money in the family. They may not want it to go to the spouses of their children or grandchildren so they choose to create an irrevocable trust. Individuals can do the same thing to protect their assets from future spouses, but the trust has to be drafted correctly.
Assets Generated During Marriage in Missouri
Another thing to be aware of is that if you generate income while married, this is marital property. Without a prenuptial agreement, even if this money is placed in a trust, it is the property of both parties in the marriage. In addition, distributed money from the trust that is used to benefit the spouse can turn the funds into marital property.
Finally, if you start to combine or otherwise mingle assets from a trust and assets from the marriage, this could lead to turning them all into marital assets. It’s best to avoid this unless that is the result you want. Keeping separate titling, separate accounts, and other safeguards is the best way to maximize the protection of your assets during an upcoming divorce.
Choose an Experienced St. Louis Attorney for Asset Protection
There are a lot of things to think about if you’re considering a divorce. Even going into a marriage requires knowledge about how to best protect your assets. Without having all the information, you could make a misstep and wind up turning your assets into shared assets with a spouse.
If you want to avoid any issues and keep your assets safe, consider working with an experienced attorney in Missouri. St. Louis Divorce and Mediation can walk you through the steps to protect your property whether you’re thinking about marriage or considering divorce. You can reach out to us for a free consultation at 314-725-4000.
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