Regardless of the length of marriage, when a marriage ends the consequences can be both emotionally and financially devastating. In order to adequately protect your rights during a divorce, you should be aware of all the assets and debts that have been acquired by either spouse during the marriage.  In addition, you may be entitled to a portion of any premarital asset that has appreciated in value during the marriage.  It is important to note, that how the asset or debt is titled does not determine your entitlement or obligation.  Instead, the Court will focus on when the asset or debt was acquired.   How do you protect yourself?  The best way to protect yourself is with information.  Each spouse should be aware the value of all joint and individual assets, including the house, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, life insurance, and medical insurance. Each spouse should also be aware of all joint and individual debts including mortgage debt, home equity loans and credit card debts.  Make copies of all important documentation, including, but not limited to, credit card statements, bank statements, tax returns and mortgage information.

Information is power, the more financial information you have the better prepared you will be in securing your financial future.