We are far past the point where a standard marriage consists of a woman staying home and doing the domestic duties such as the cooking and cleaning. On top of that, we are also moving away from the standard marriages where the man makes more money than the woman. The past few years have seen a lot of change regarding the shift of power in marriages. With the evolving times of women making more money than the husband in a marriage, it's important for them to be educated on what to do if the decision for a divorce arises.
Get a Prenuptial Agreement
Another aspect of marriages that has changed over the years is that prenuptial agreements are no longer looked upon with distaste. They are becoming more and more of a norm in society, and in reality they are quite essential to protect your losses. The agreement is simply clarifying what is marital property and what is separate property. In any marriage, communication is key and prenuptial agreements offer financial communication, so there are no loose ends if divorce occurs.
Keep Some Funds Separate
For women who are earning more money than their partner, it's a good idea to keep some of that money in a separate account. Setting money aside for your own individual use will give you protection and will be a necessity during a divorce. You can discuss the separate account with your partner if you want to, but it may not be necessary if you are planning to separate and do not want to cause more turmoil.
Keep Inheritance Separate
You do not want to put your spouse's name on any inheritance assets or accounts. It is also best to not use those funds to pay for any marital expenses because the nature of them can completely change afterwards. By putting your spouse's name on them or using them to pay off other marital debts, you risk the loss of securing exemption status on those assets or accounts.
Protect Your Business
If your source of income comes from ownership of a business, you will want to protect that business from being split up or otherwise financially destroyed in a divorce. Discuss with your attorney the different options you have regarding trusts and agreements that can safeguard the business.
Prepare for Alimony
In any marriage, there is the possibility of having to pay alimony if one spouse creates a certain standard of living for the other. Typically if the marriage lasted less than 10 years, you will only have to pay support for half the marriage's length. The payments really come down to the judge's discretion, perception of the marriage's finances, and the marital standard of living.
If you believe it is likely you will be paying alimony, be prepared to pay a specified amount of money each month to your ex. The payments will stop on a certain date ordered by a judge, depending on the length of marriage, or if your spouse remarries, your children no longer need a full-time parent at home, a judge determines your ex didn't make a good enough effort to support himself in due time, or a significant event or change happens in your financial life/monthly income, such as retirement.
Questions? Contact Moore, Schulman & Moore
If you are considering divorce in San Diego County or Orange County, please contact Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC today to schedule an initial case review. Backed by more than 200 years of combined experience, our firm is committed to ensuring that our clients' interests are protected throughout all stages of the divorce process. We can be reached via our secure online contact form or by calling (858) 492-7968.