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How Can I Protect My Finances During My Divorce?

by | Jul 27, 2021 | News and Events

Considering the option of getting a divorce on Long Island is a significant life event, even if your only just mulling it over or slowly getting things in order in preparation. One critical thing to prepare for well in advance if you can is protecting your finances. Here’s how and who can help you navigate finances in the New York family law system during this difficult time.

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Open Up Your Own Bank Account

Ideally, the first step you will take before even letting your spouse know that you’re considering getting a divorce is to open up a bank account in your name only. Make sure paychecks from your job are put into this account, as well as any gifts or money that solely belongs to you.

While earned income is subject to equitable distribution under New York law, keeping your money in a separate account is a good way to protect it from being accessed at will by your spouse. Generally, what will occur is you will submit a statement of your earned income and at  least a portion of that will be considered shared assets.

Begin Keeping Detailed Records of All Financial Assets & Earnings

You should also start keeping explicitly detailed records of all financial transactions, gained or sold assets, earnings, and tax documents. Gathering these records can take time, particularly if you have been married for many years.

Starting this process early means that you’ll be well prepared and won’t be scrambling for paperwork at the last minute. Keep these records — as well as any other pertinent documents, valuables, and other assets — stored safely away from your home in a location that only you know about and to which only you have access.

Make a List of Your Spouse’s Contributions to the Home

If your spouse earns less than you, or is a homemaker, make a detailed list of their contributions to the home. The court considers things like taking care of children, maintaining a home, cooking and cleaning, and similar commitments as legitimate contributions to the family that can be monetarily compensated.

It’s a good idea if you go into your Long Island divorce case already having an idea of what your spouse contributes to the family home on a regular basis and what that may be worth. You may be liable for some or all of this compensation if your spouse stayed home so you could pursue your career, or care for your children.

Make a List of Your Personal Assets

Property acquired during your marriage is considered joint property and either must be negotiated to be given to one spouse in exchange for something of equal value or liquidated to split the proceeds.

Start creating a list of property that you have that specifically belongs to you, particularly if they were gifts given to you by other family members. For example, your spouse is unlikely to have any claim to heirloom furniture or jewelry, etc. that were passed down to you from your family’s previous generations.

Even if these items are worth a significant amount of money, if you can show that they were gifted specifically to you, potentially before your marriage, you should not have a problem maintaining control over these assets.

Additionally, if you have an inheritance of any kind or you won money in a personal injury settlement or civil claim specifically for damages you suffered, these are also assets that are unlikely to be considered shareable under equitable distribution.

Contact an Experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney for Assistance

Protecting the financial assets that rightfully belong to you in a divorce can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the New York legal system. If you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, this can make determining what is and isn’t marital property even more challenging.

It’s in your best interests to work with a seasoned Long Island family law firm that can help you gather important documentation, keep records straight, and zealously advocate for the rights and best interests of your family.

Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to learn more about options that may be available to you to protect your finances before and during the divorce process. Call 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form below to schedule your free initial consultation.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

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Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!
cristina romero
cristina romero
20:17 17 Sep 21
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in, I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.
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