Property Ownership & Divorce: How to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

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Worried about an impending divorce? You’re not alone.

According to the latest divorce statistics, 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in a divorce. The data also shows that 101, 669 couples filed for divorce in 2017 (the most recent year for which divorce statistics are available). 

Shocking, right?

Here’s the good news; even if a divorce is inevitable, there are measures you can take to protect your assets before and after the divorce. In this post, we’ll discuss the steps to take to protect your assets and make the process as painless as possible.

1. Protect the Rights to Your Home

If the family home is registered in your partner’s name, then it’s possible that they could sell or remortgage the property without your consent, thereby invalidating any claim you may have against the property in a divorce.

However, there are steps you can take to prevent this. First, you’ll want to register your interest and change how the property is owned.

You can apply to the Land Registry to have a Home’s Right Notice’ registered against the property’s title. This way, you’ll be notified of any dealings related to the said property—a move that will make it hard for your spouse to initiate any sales proceedings without your consent.

If there are no disputes to the title, both parties can sell the property and share the proceeds equally. Sellhousequickly—a company that buys homes in London can help you finalize the sales process fast and with little effort.

2. Know the Value of Pensions & Retirement Accounts

Retirement and pension funds are usually one of the couple’s biggest marital assets.

However, dividing financial assets often poses a challenge, especially if the accounts are large and diversified. Even so, the court will not care about how your investments are managed; it will only care about proof of marital assets, so it’s advisable to compile a lot of documentation that will prove the existence of such accounts.

Familiarizing yourself with all the fund accounts and how the money is divided in a divorce will put you in a better position, one where you’ll not be taken advantage of during divorce settlement negotiations.

3. Protect Your Valuables and Other Financial Assets

If you believe your spouse is capable of destroying or hiding some of the marital assets to avoid their inclusion in the settlement process, hide them. Keep in mind, though, that all marital property will need to be disclosed, valued, and split up during the divorce settlement process.

Financial assets that you need to keep an eye on include cash, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, investment accounts, brokerage accounts, and deferred compensation. You can apply to the court to stop your spouse from:

  •      Selling
  •      Transferring, or
  •       Donating funds

Again, you’ll need a lot of documentation to prove that such accounts/funds exist and were acquired after marriage.

4. Contact Your Bank and Mortgage Lenders

If you’ve joint accounts with your partner, you should contact your bank to notify them about the divorce. 

You should ask your bank to change the way the accounts are set up so that both of you have to agree on matters relating to withdrawals and loans. This can help to prevent an unscrupulous spouse from emptying the accounts before the settlements are finalized.

Also, if you have a joint mortgage, you should notify the mortgage provider about the divorce so they can change how the payments will be done afterward. Notifying the mortgage provider will ensure that nonpayment of mortgage will not affect your credit ratings, especially if your mortgage payment obligations were released by the court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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