In Illinois and across the country, there is an increasing number of women who make more than their spouse does. This emerging trend may mean that if a couple in which the woman is the “breadwinner” gets a divorce, the woman may end up owing spousal support and seeing large amounts of her retirement and savings accounts diminished during marital property division. However, with some planning, high-earning women can still protect their assets should a divorce occur.
Some of the ways that women can protect their property if their marriage dissolves include getting a prenuptial agreement, maintaining separate bank accounts and protecting their business. Prenuptial agreements are increasingly common, especially in marriages in which one or both parties have large incomes, and they can prevent litigation regarding finances during a divorce. Additionally, having a separate bank account can give women financial independence that is not possible when funds are shared.
It is also common for high-earning women to own or run a business, and a nasty divorce could damage the business. This is why women may want to establish a trust or agreement that protects a business’s assets and allow them to keep control of running it.
Even for those who are not considering a divorce or those simply thinking about getting married, it may be helpful to contact an attorney. An attorney could guide them through the process of setting up a prenuptial agreement and explain what might happen to their assets if they end up getting a divorce. Additionally, an attorney could help someone who is going through a divorce protect their assets through mediation or litigation.
Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: When You Earn More Than Your Husband,” Jeff Landers, April 10, 2013