How to Protect Yourself as a Stay-at-Home Spouse During Divorce
In many cases, the breadwinner of the family has the advantage during divorce simply because he or she has access to the money. If you are the stay-at-home wife or husband, there are some ways you can prepare for divorce. Even if your marriage is going well right now, you never know when your spouse will surprise you with divorce papers, which is why you should take these steps to prepare ahead of time.
Make Sure You Have Access to Money
If your spouse makes all the money, he or she may control it all, too. Just because your husband or wife gives you money to shop or pay your own bills now does not mean the same will occur during a divorce. In fact, you will probably be cut off from the money, making it hard for you to handle your finances. Even though you will likely be entitled to about half of the household income, there is no telling when you will get it, which is why you should have access to more than just a joint account. Opening your own separate checking or savings account may be a good idea, as is applying for a credit card in your own name. This way, you have emergency money in case of a divorce.
Stay Aware of What You and Your Spouse Own
During divorce, your assets will be divided between you and your spouse. This means you need to be aware of what you both own. It may be easy to remember your house, cars, and any savings, checking, and retirement accounts you have. Pensions, life insurance, and stocks may also be on your mind.
However, many people forget extra perks that can add up to a lot, such as a private golf club membership, accrued vacation days, and any side work your spouse may occasionally take on. These assets should be noted during discovery, but you should still know about them in case your spouse attempts to hide any assets.
Ensure You Are Truly Getting a Fair Deal
It can be easy to simply look at the initial value of an asset and assume it’s a benefit to you when you get it. However, some assets come with drawbacks, such as expenses you might have forgotten about. For example, even if your house is paid off and you get it, you will be responsible for taxes, insurance, and HOA fees, to name a few expenses. Make sure you can afford all this before you forego other valuable assets in exchange for the house.
A divorce lawyer can help you make sure you are getting a good deal when it comes to assets. A lawyer can also help if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets. Come to Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. if you need help protecting your interests. We have decades of experience with divorce in New York, so call today for help.