Is the fighting escalating in your home and affecting your children? It may be time to make a change in your toxic environment. If you’re contemplating a divorce and researching online for a “divorce attorney near me,” you’ve already taken the first step to push past the fear and take back your life.
Among several vital considerations, many worry that a divorce will dismantle their finances or destroy businesses that took years to build. Are you worried that your spouse might take half of your business? If you are planning to end your marriage, you need efficient asset protection strategies.
Divorce doesn’t have to be war. The experienced legal team of Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm explains how to protect your assets during your Florida divorce.
1. Safeguard Your Separate Property
In a Florida divorce case, any assets either spouse acquired during the marriage count as marital property unless a pre or postnuptial agreement states otherwise. This is true even if a property title is only in one spouse’s name.
Separate property, or non-marital property, includes:
- Assets that either spouse owned before the marriage
- Inheritance and gifts
- Property listed as separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
If you hold non-marital property, we advise you to keep it separate, especially if your marriage is approaching a crisis. For example, if you receive an inheritance from your late aunt, keep it in a separate account or a trust rather than transfer it to an account you hold jointly with your spouse. Otherwise, the assets will mingle, making it extremely difficult, or impossible, to separate your non-marital property during divorce.
2. Secure a Postnuptial Agreement
If you have not signed a prenuptial agreement, or if your prenup no longer fits your circumstances, consider negotiating a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. A postnup provides security if you are unsure about the future of your marriage, especially in the following situations:
- Your financial status quo is about to change, e.g., you are going to sell your business or receive an inheritance
- You or your spouse have children from a former relationship
- You or your spouse has accrued considerable debt
A postnuptial agreement requires your spouse’s cooperation. Look for a trusted “divorce attorney near me” to help you negotiate a postnup that is enforceable under Florida law.
3. Protect Your Business
As a business owner, you may face additional challenges during a divorce, especially if you share ownership or work with your spouse. The following strategies can help keep your business afloat:
- Swap the business for other assets in your divorce agreement. If you and your spouse co-own the business, your spouse may agree to give up on their share in exchange for other property, like the family home.
- Obtain fair valuation. Work with a neutral valuation professional to source a fair and realistic valuation of your business. Remember that your spouse may provide an inflated business valuation to negotiate a larger payout.
- Arrange a gradual payout. If you’re buying out your spouse’s share in the business, try to settle on a step-by-step payout, e.g., monthly payments you deduct from the business cash flow.
4. Consider an Asset Protection Trust
High-net-worth individuals may consider placing property in an irrevocable domestic asset protection trust (DAPT). Once you transfer assets to a trust, you relinquish your legal ownership over these assets and can keep them separate from the marital property during divorce.
Our divorce attorneys at Cabanas Law Firm can help you set up a domestic asset protection trust to protect property, including:
- Real estate
- Business assets
DAPTs undergo a lookback period before they can protect your property from spousal claims. Until that period ends, your spouse could challenge the trust, so you should set up a DAPT long before you plan to start divorce proceedings. You may also seek legal advice for establishing a trust in a different state with more DAPT-favorable laws.
5. Work with a Divorce Attorney to Reach an Amicable Settlement
If possible, work with your spouse through mediation to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement. Divorces that end in the courtroom are more prolonged, messier, and infinitely more expensive. But you can avoid divorce battles and protect your children with help from an experienced family attorney on your side.
At the Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, we settle where we can and fight when we must. Our family attorneys make every effort to help you and your spouse achieve a divorce agreement that works for both sides. However, if your spouse won’t cooperate or has unreasonable demands, we will support you at every step of divorce litigation.
Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm: Life’s Too Short to Be in the Wrong Relationship
Securing your property during divorce requires timely action, negotiation skills, and smart asset protection strategies.
If you’re Googling “divorce attorney near me,” contact the Cabanas Law Firm. There is a happy life waiting for you. Our trusted legal team provides bilingual legal services in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. We handle all financial aspects of Florida divorces, including mediation, postnuptial agreements, and asset protection.