How Do I Protect Myself Financially From My Spouse During Divorce?

how do i protect myself financially from my spouse

Divorce is never easy—the emotional rollercoaster, the difficult conversations, the fear of the unknown. But amid all that turmoil, one aspect that often gets overlooked is protecting your financial future.

We know that talking about money during a divorce feels overwhelming. You’re dealing with enough as it is. But here’s the hard truth: if you don’t take proactive steps to safeguard your assets now, you could be setting yourself up for a world of financial hurt down the line.

That’s why we’re here to help. At Netsquire, our divorce attorneys help you navigate divorce smoothly and emerge stronger on the other side. It won’t be easy, but we’ve got your back every step of the way.

Understand Your New Jersey’s Divorce Laws

First thing first: knowing the legal landscape for divorce in New Jersey. Our state follows an “equitable distribution” model for dividing up marital property. That means all the stuff you and your spouse acquired during your marriage—houses, cars, investment accounts, you name it—gets split up fairly.

While most things are equally split, “fair” doesn’t necessarily mean 50/50. The courts consider many factors, like each spouse’s financial situation, the length of the marriage, and any extenuating circumstances.

That’s why having an experienced divorce attorney in your corner is absolutely crucial. We know the ins and outs of New Jersey’s laws, and we’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure you get your fair share.

Prepare for the Financial Aspects of Divorce

Gather Financial Documentation

Knowledge is power. The first step in protecting your finances is getting a crystal clear picture of your current financial reality.

That means gathering every single document you can find related to:

  • Income (W2s, pay stubs, etc.)
  • Assets (real estate, vehicles, investments, the works)
  • Debts (credit cards, loans, you get the idea)
  • Expenses (bills, recurring costs, etc.)

Don’t leave any stone unturned here. Having all this documentation on hand will come in handy as we navigate the money side of your divorce. Oh, and one more quick tip? Request fresh credit reports, too. You’ll want to see if there are any joint accounts or liabilities that need to be dealt with.

Separate Finances

Separating finances is the next crucial step. You don’t want to be financially entangled with your soon-to-be ex anymore than necessary.


  • Head to the bank and open up new checking and savings accounts in just your name
  • Divert any income or payments into those new solo accounts moving forward (but keep paying regular expenses), and
  • Close or freeze any joint credit cards or lines of credit you may have.

Taking these simple steps creates a clear financial boundary between you and your spouse. It’s about protecting your money – pure and simple.

Seek Professional Assistance

When it comes to protecting your best interests in a divorce, hiring a divorce attorney is the way to go. At Netsquire, we have years of experience with New Jersey’s divorce laws, and we’ll be your advocate every step of the way. From dividing assets to calculating alimony and child support – we’ve got your back.

But professional assistance doesn’t stop there. We recommend bringing in a financial advisor, especially when dealing with complex assets, business interests, or retirement accounts.

These professionals can craft a sustainable, post-divorce financial plan so you don’t just survive this transition—you thrive. They’ll look at your long-term goals for things like retirement, your kid’s education, or buying a new home and help you implement the right strategy.

Finally, if you and your soon-to-be ex are on board for a more amicable split, options like mediation or collaborative divorce can be great alternatives to traditional litigation. They are more affordable, more transparent, and less conflict.

Protect Your Assets During Divorce

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to dive into actively shielding the assets you’ve worked so hard to build.

Understand Marital and Separate Assets

Under New Jersey law, there’s a huge difference between “marital property” that gets divided and “separate property” that remains yours alone.

Marital property is anything acquired during the marriage by either spouse – houses, cars, or collections you’ve been curating. Retirement funds and investment accounts typically fall into this bucket, too.

Separate property includes things like assets you owned before saying “I do,” family heirlooms or inheritance, and certain types of legal settlements or compensation. These are yours to keep after the divorce as long as you kept them in your name only.

But don’t think separating these two categories is always cut and dry. We’ve seen plenty of messy situations where separate assets got comingled with marital property over the years. That’s why you need an attorney who can identify, value, and fight for you to retain those separate assets.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

If you happen to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, that legal contract will play a huge role in this process. Prenups lay out exactly how assets should be divided in a divorce from the get-go. Postnups accomplish something similar but are drafted after the marriage has already begun.

Even if you don’t have one currently, a postnuptial agreement may be worth considering if you have significant separate property, a business, inheritance, or other high-value assets to protect. Again, having an attorney to ensure these agreements are drafted properly – and advocated for during your divorce – is mission-critical.

Strategies for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Dividing up a business or entrepreneurial assets is one of the trickier aspects of divorce finance. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into building something – your life’s work. So you’d better believe we’ll go to bat to protect those interests.

From accurately valuing and dividing business ownership, assets, and income streams to securing intellectual property and professional licenses – no stone goes unturned. We’ve successfully safeguarded business assets for countless clients in every imaginable industry.

Financial Considerations After Divorce

Even after the divorce is finalized, there are some key areas to tackle for long-term financial security.

Child Support and Alimony Obligations

If children are involved, both parents are responsible for providing financial support through regular child support payments. New Jersey has statutory guidelines for calculating the amount based on factors like custody, each parent’s income, and the child’s needs.

But life changes – jobs are lost, salaries fluctuate, and households merge. So, we always build some flexibility into support agreements to allow for future modifications if major financial circumstances shift.

The same goes for alimony, also called spousal support. If one spouse has a much lower income or earning potential, alimony may be awarded to help them maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce. The length of the marriage, each party’s financial condition, and other factors all get weighed.

The key is ensuring these support obligations are fair and sustainable, given your new economic reality. That’s where our legal guidance becomes invaluable.

Updating Estate Plans and Beneficiaries

With your marital status changing, it’s absolutely important to update your estate plan and beneficiary designations. We’ll revise wills, trusts, POAs, and beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, transfer-on-death accounts, and more.

Getting all those personal finances updated properly provides ultimate protection for you and your heirs moving forward.

Forge Your Financial Future with Netsquire

Divorce brings many financial challenges, but the team at Netsquire is here to help protect what’s yours every step of the way.

If you want lawyers who will go after your fair share of assets, handle support issues, and set you up for financial stability after divorce – contact us. Our years of experience in New Jersey divorce law means we know how to safeguard your money during this transition and put you in a better position for the future. It’s that simple.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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