Property division issues for high-earning women who divorce

Times have changed, in Massachusetts and across the nation, and the days in which men were the breadwinners and women were the house makers are long gone. While there are still some households that adhere to this once-standard social norm, many others are comprised of two working spouses. In some cases, women bring in the bulk of the household’s income. For such women who face divorce and the inevitable property division process, there are a number of considerations that come into play.

Divorce involves the division of marital assets, which can become complicated in some families. As with any financial matter, the best approach lies in proper planning. To that end, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are one of the best ways to protect assets in the event of a divorce. Another savvy financial move is to maintain any inheritance money or assets separately from marital funds. Keep such assets within the name of the receiving party, and do not use inheritance funds to pay for jointly held debt.

Another issue concerns business interest. For women who own their own business, much of the hard work and effort put into making that business profitable can be lost through divorce. There are ways to safeguard against these types of losses, including the use of trusts or other legal agreements. These avenues should be explored before the need arises to protect one’s business during a divorce proceeding.

For women who have achieved a high level of success in the workplace, the best way to protect the rewards of those achievements lies in planning for worst possible scenario. As with any form of protection, it is better to have a plan in place that is never needed than to need one and not have it available. To that end, it is well worth the time and money to sit down and determine the best manner of protecting assets against the property division process that comes with a Massachusetts divorce.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: When You Earn More Than Your Husband,” Jeff Landers, April 10, 2013

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