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Protecting real estate assets after a divorce

A divorce can be a life-changing event, and many legal obligations go along with the process. Navigating the legal realm of divorce is especially imperative when dealing with shared real estate, the Washington Post reports.

If a married couple owns real estate before a marriage, many times the owner spouse will include a “tenancy by the entirety” provision on the deed, meaning the property now belongs to both spouses jointly. However, if a divorce occurs, that status is automatically nullified.

It is important for couples going through a divorce to find out if any judgments exist against one spouse because those issues can have a profound effect on that spouse’s interest in the home. Divorce lawyers for both sides should look for existing or potential judgments that could affect the property. These facts should then be resolved in the property settlement agreement.

According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, couples must list all real estate owned by each spouse individually, jointly as a couple, or by one spouse and other people. Typically, the divorce proceedings will give one spouse 100 percent ownership of a property while the other spouse gets a lien, a legal claim on a piece of property.

Protecting yourself financially is key in a divorce

To protect assets during a divorce, individuals are encouraged to think like a CEO, according to Jen Weigel in a recent column for the Chicago Tribune.

The best way to do this is to assemble a team of experts that all have your best interests in mind and who can guide your decision process. Good members to have on your side include a mediator or divorce lawyer, a therapist and a financial adviser. In the end, the person getting divorced is running the ship, however.

For some people, putting together a team of experts is not financially feasible, particularly in the face of divorce, but other resources are available. Weigel suggests turning to a local library or support center to find free seminars.

Thinking like a CEO also means taking emotional attachment out of the equation, writes Weigel. People have been known to lose out financially if they are emotionally tied to certain things acquired during a marriage, like the home.

CBS News suggests that doing some prep work can also save money. Additionally, it is important to remember the specific duties of each member of your divorce team. A divorce lawyer is not there for financial advice, for example.

Schwarzenegger to keep home after divorce

Maria Shriver is packing her bags while Arnold Schwarzenegger will keep the couple’s Brentwood, California, home in the aftermath of their divorce, according to multiple reports.

While figuring who will keep the house is often a contentious part of a divorce settlement, both parties have reportedly been amicable. Shriver is purchasing a new $10 million home three miles away from Schwarzenegger in order to make the transition easier for their children.

Shriver filed for divorce from the former California governor early this month after 25 years of marriage. The proceedings began two months after allegations surfaced of Schwarzenegger’s affair with a household employee. In addition, Schwarzenegger fathered a child with the woman more than 10 years ago.

Shriver cited irreconcilable differences for the split and has reportedly requested custody of the pair’s two minor children Patrick, 17, and Christopher, 13.

The couple, who are worth an estimated $400 million, do not have prenuptial agreement. Under California’s Community Property law, their assets must be divided evenly during their split. However, RadarOnline reports that Schwarzenegger plans to give Shriver a “generous” settlement regardless of the state law.

Divorce Assets: Keep Them Separate

In the latest installment of Joe Cordell’s weekly AskMen.com column, Divorce Assets: The Divorce Files, the Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner explains the many ways assets, even those held separately, can become commingled during a marriage, thus becoming fair game for division upon divorce.

Cordell gives real-world examples of how good record keeping can save your pre-marriage assets from the divorce court guillotine.

Read the entire article about dividing marital assets.