If you are considering filing for divorce, you should take some time to protect your assets before you file. With a bit of preparation and accurate records, you can help ensure that the asset division is fair and reasonable during the divorce. Even if you think your divorce will be amicable and uncontested, the more organized you are and the better protected your assets are, the less risk you'll face of losing significant investments along the way.

Here are some tips to help you protect your assets and ease the division process before you file:

Gather Financial Records

Gather copies of your financial records from the last five years and place them somewhere safe where you'll still be able to access them if you move out. Include documents like credit card and bank account statements, mortgage records, retirement and investment accounts, any stock records and other financial documents.

Having these records on hand will not only ensure that you have recent copies of the asset activity to show trends and to protect yourself in case your spouse closes an account, but having a clear picture of all of the marital assets can help your attorney develop an effective approach for the divorce proceedings.

Open Up Your Own Accounts

You'll want to open up your own savings and checking accounts before you leave. This ensures that you have somewhere for your paychecks to go and to store your savings when you've separated. And, it sets the stage to begin your transition into a state of financial independence from your spouse.

If you and your spouse have joint household accounts, you'll want to talk with a divorce attorney about whether or not you can withdraw half of the funds in the accounts when you leave. If you can, do it before you file. Once you've filed the divorce papers, most courts will prohibit any transfer of money out of the accounts.

Dealing with Inheritances and Gifts

In most divorce situations, inheritances and personal gifts typically default to the possession of the intended recipient. These things are considered to be individual assets, not marital assets. If you have any personal gifts or family inheritances you've acquired since the marriage, those things should go with you when you leave. Just make sure that you have all of the documentation possible to show that these things belong to you.

Even the most amicable divorce can become heated and strained when it comes to dividing assets. With the tips presented here and the support of a reliable divorce attorney, you can protect your financial interests and receive the assets that you deserve as part of the settlement. To learn more, contact a company like Weaner, Yoder, Hill & Weber Ltd. with any questions you have.