Besides the health and happiness of your children, protecting your assets needs to be one of your main goals, and you should take steps to protect your assets long before you file for a divorce.
Below are some of the best ways to protect your assets if you are facing a divorce in South Carolina.
Open Your Own Bank Accounts
If you don’t have one already, open your own personal checking and savings bank accounts in your name and your name alone. You should tell your spouse when you do this and also tell your spouse how much money you will be deposited into those accounts.
You want your spouse to know about the accounts so that during your South Carolina divorce, they cannot accuse you of attempting to hide any assets.
Close Any Joint Credit Accounts
It’s important to pay down and close any joint credit accounts you and your spouse have together. This may include credit cards, car loans, a mortgage, etc.
Try to pay as many of them off as possible, and if you can’t pay them off, put them either in your name or your spouse’s name.
This is because when you are going through a divorce, any debts you and your spouse have will need to be split during your divorce settlement eventually anyway.
Protect Any Valuables
If you are unfortunate enough to be in an abusive marriage or think your spouse may attempt to destroy or hide any valuable possessions – protect them. However, it’s essential to know that any valuables that were purchased with marital money will need to be valued and split during the divorce.
The goal here is to protect any valuables but not hide the fact that you possess them. When you file a marital property list with the court, make sure you put these valuables on the list.
Do Not Get Any New Debt
Your goal is to save as much money as possible before you file for divorce. Charging things on credit cards is not saving money. You should pay cash for anything you purchase until after your South Carolina divorce.
Get A Copy of Your and Your Spouse’s Credit Reports
You are going to want to know how good your credit is and the credit of your spouse. If you find any issues with either credit report, you can start to clean yours up.
Alimony and Spousal Support
As of January 1, 2019, any alimony you are ordered to receive is considered to be non-taxable income and any alimony you pay is not tax deductible. This is a significant change in the law regarding the taxability of alimony and could affect the amount you are able to pay and the amount your spouse needs.
Know-How Much Any Pension and Retirement Accounts are Worth
As a married couple, your retirement accounts may be one of your most significant assets. Knowing the value of your spouse and your spouse’s pension and retirement accounts and how they will be divided during a divorce may put you in a good position, so you aren’t taken advantage of during your divorce.
Document Before You File for a South Carolina Divorce
Before you file for your South Carolina divorce, you want evidence of any cash sources and valuables. Take pictures of all your personal and marital possessions. Make copies of any investment and bank account statements. Keep all of these documents in a safe place outside of your home.
Get A Personal Post Office Box
The goal of having your own PO box is to prevent your spouse from intercepting anything that may be related to your divorce.
The divorce attorneys at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, L.L.C. in Greenville, South Carolina, understand that divorce is an emotionally charged time in your life. By planning ahead, you will be better prepared to make the right decisions, and we are here to help you.