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How To Protect Assets In Divorce

Many divorce clients are concerned with asset protection.  Many others are also concerned with keeping an existing business going in the event of a divorce.  The best avenue is to protect a business with a prenuptial agreement.  A prenup is often the best way to avoid costly litigation and possible dissolution of your company.  Even though a company may have preexisted the marriage, there may be a marital portion associated therewith. In general, any asset which preexisted the marriage is considered the premarital, or non-marital, property of the owner.  A company, like many other assets, may change and evolve over the course of the marriage.  For example, if the company was a startup with nominal value at the time of the marriage and is now worth three million dollars, the increase in equity could likely be considered marital property.  Often, additional work, effort, expense, as well as influx of cash or debt will modify the nature of the asset. Other assets may also be considered a mixed in nature.  A mixed asset is one which has some non-marital component and some marital component.  If you own a piece of real estate outright prior to marriage and do no improvements and borrow no money against it during the marriage, it is essentially a non-marital asset. If, however, you rent it out, pay down some debt, do improvements or otherwise change the value, some or all of the property will be considered marital.  If there is both marital and nonmarital, it is considered mixed. Remember, it may be illegal to hide or conceal an asset during divorce discovery.  That said, it is perfectly legal to protect that asset and assure that it remains intact.  Retain an attorney before making any major decisions regarding your assets. Many family law attorneys have experience in social work, family litigation, with concentration in custody and other issues.  Some others also have a business degree and/or real business experience.  Choosing an attorney that understands the nature of a business and can assist in valuation of the business is essential in achieving a good outcome to your case. If you have questions or wish to further discuss your divorce and asset protection, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.

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