Burke Levy, P.C.

Planning for divorce can help secure finances

When couples decide to marry, one of the furthest things from their minds is the end of the marriage. However, recent statistics show that up to half of all marriages in Massachusetts and across the country end in divorce. No one wants to plan for a marriage to fail, but these statistics alone show that planning for divorce is not only smart, but recommended, especially with finances.

Many couples like the convenience of joint accounts rather than having separate accounts. Instead of adding a spouse to an existing account, if shared accounts are preferred, it is best to open those accounts together. However, individuals would be wise to always use separate accounts for things like inheritance or gifts.

Real estate can be tricky. If any separate property is owned, it is advised to keep that property separate. Adding a spouse to a title could create problems in the event of a divorce. It is also imperative that both spouses keep good records. One should create an inventory of bank and retirement accounts and always keep copies of any documents such as wills that show an inheritance.

A post-nuptial agreement may also be something that couples want to consider. This can be done post-marriage and may be helpful if couples want to divide things differently that what state laws say. An agreement in writing is always better than a verbal agreement or promise. One of the most important things is to consult someone such as an attorney who is familiar with Massachusetts state laws. Consulting a knowledgeable family law attorney could provide guidance and answers to any legal questions that may arise.

Source: Liz Weston, "Planning for divorce might be one of the smartest things you can do for your money", Finanzen.net, March 1, 2018

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