When the wife brings home the bacon in a marriage

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Divorce on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

For many of Chicago’s married couples, it is the husband who earns the most income. Accordingly, should a couple split, the husband usually pays alimony in a divorce settlement. However, this is not always the case as research indicates that in a small portion of households, the wife is the top earner. In such scenarios, women may have to make certain considerations.

Women should consider having a prenuptial agreement drawn up to protect their assets. The prenuptial agreement can protect the person from losing an unfair amount of their wealth in a divorce. Many couples can arrive at a reasonable agreement that carefully outlines which assets are considered marital or non-marital property.

Women business owners should look into ways to protect their business in case of divorce if they don’t want to see the fruits of their hard work and sacrifice become a divisible asset. While laws vary from state to state, a number of legal structures like trusts exist, which can protect a business in a divorce. Additionally, wives with inheritances should be sure to keep these assets separate from marital property. Using inheritance to pay off the marital home or putting a husband’s name on an account could make these assets divisible.

It’s important for every couple entering into a high-net-worth marriage to consider what should be done to protect their financial interests should a divorce happen. If a couple marries without a prenuptial agreement, sometimes a postnuptial agreement can be made. However, these are more likely to be invalidated or challenged in a divorce. An experienced divorce lawyer may assist in setting up a financial agreement before marriage or advising what should be done in case of a divorce.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: When You Earn More Than Your Husband,” Jeff Landers, April 10, 2013