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Understanding your financial options during divorce

Many women in Florida and throughout the country have decided to take control of their financial security by opening bank accounts of their own. In some situations, these bank accounts are opened without their husband's knowledge. Women do this for a variety of reasons. With so many couples deciding to marry later in life, this is seen as a way to maintain their financial independence. For others, it is a way to avoid complex and contentious property division should the marriage fail.

There are several pros and cons to opening up a secret bank account. Many women have had the unfortunate experience of their husbands draining their joint checking account, leaving them without the funds to hire legal representation. A situation like this could have been prevented if the woman had funds that their husbands did not have access to.

While preparing for divorce by secretly saving money may seem like a good idea, these secret bank accounts do have the potential to degrade trust in the relationship. Steps can be taken to maintain this trust in the marriage by not having the funds be a secret. A prenuptial agreement can state that some funds are not part of mutual marital property and cannot be accessed by the husband. A post-nuptial agreement can also be crafted after the wedding to define how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help couples navigate through the complicated process of dividing assets during a divorce. Having a pre- or postnuptial agreement in place can save couples both time and money by avoiding litigation. Lengthy court battles can also be emotionally taxing as well as expensive. Working to have these details in place or having secret funds available can help ensure a secure financial future for all involved.

Source: Forbes, "Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce," Jeff Landers, Feb. 14, 2013

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