A divorce is one major event that could derail all of your savings plans. You may have kept some of your accounts in your name only, believing that your spouse has no access to them.
The way that you separate your assets can make a big difference in your future. You'll need to identify all your assets, shared and separate. After you identify your separate assets, the other party may request to view what you believe you possess. If there is a dispute, you'll need to work through that as well.
What should you do if you want to protect your assets?
Start with the things that you already possess in your name only. Things like separate bank accounts, separate credit cards and inheritances may not be considered marital property in some instances. However, if you've used an account as support for your spouse or to buy things for the home, those assets may then be shared.
The person whose name is on a piece of property isn't the only deciding factor in who owns it. The way it has been used may also matter. New York is an equitable distribution state, so any marital assets are divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. It's in your best interests to show why you deserve more of the assets you share with your spouse. Making a solid argument can help you walk away with a larger settlement from your marriage, which can have a lower impact on your finances overall.
Before you make any kind of property agreement with your spouse, know and understand your rights and obligations and how they apply during a divorce. It's important to know which assets you can claim as your own and which must be split with your spouse. Getting a good idea of your separately-owned assets compared to your spouse's can help you protect yourself and your financial security in the future.