June 23, 2014 By Paul Wallin
Young Woman - high income earner-divorce
Are you a woman earning a higher income than your husband?

The traditional husband-and-wife divorce is usually characterized by a husband who earns more money than the wife or is the sole breadwinner of the household. In these types of cases, the wife attempts to negotiate the highest level of spousal support that she can, as well as child support, if there is a child involved.

With the advancement of women in the workplace due to equal rights and education in this day and age, the family dynamic has somewhat changed. Many wives are now earning more money than their husbands. In many cases the wives are the main source of income for the family. As a result, the way divorces are handled by the family court system has changed.

Women who earn a higher income than their spouse need to make special considerations:

1.  Draw up a prenuptial agreement.

As in all marriages, drawing up prenuptial agreement is often a good decision. This will help protect against the higher-earning spouse losing an unfair amount of his or her assets. Although you may be reluctant to ask your spouse about a prenuptial agreement because it seems offensive, fight off this feeling. It is crucial that you protect yourself and your assets, particularly if you are the higher wage earner.

Of course you are not entering into your marriage with plans of divorce. Unfortunately, people sometimes change, and certain situations can affect your marriage negatively. A prenuptial agreement will allow you and your spouse to save time, energy, and money during the divorce proceedings.

The resources spent figuring out how to divide your assets can now be spent on child counseling, retirement, and other expenses that you are likely to face.1

2. If you are already married, try a postnuptial agreement.

If you are already married and are now considering drawing up an agreement about your assets between you and your spouse, this is known as a postnuptial agreement. This can achieve the important goal of clearly defining your financial issues and understanding how they will be handled in the case of a divorce. Do not look at postnuptial or prenuptial agreements as an early agreement to eventually get a divorce. Look at it more as a sign of mutual respect in the marriage.2

3.  Keep some of your money separate.

Whether you are planning on getting a divorce, if you are a woman that earns a higher income in a marriage, you should consider having your own separate bank account. It may be beneficial to keep this bank account a secret from your husband. This is a good way to make sure that you have some financial flexibility and independence if a divorce occurs.3

Make sure to disclose all of your accounts, including any separate accounts, during the divorce proceedings. Failing to do so is considered hiding assets, and this will negatively affect your case.4

4.  Manage your inherited assets separately.

Any money from an inheritance is considered your separate property. This means that it is one of the only forms of money that will not be equally split between you and your spouse during a divorce.

This is why it is important to treat any inheritances accordingly. Do not mix these assets with community funds. Make sure to not use an inheritance to pay off the mortgage or other marital expenses.5

5.  Protect Your Business

If your income is earned through your business, it is vital that you protect this asset to the best of your ability. Your experienced attorney can help you understand the various options that can help protect your business in a divorce. Hiring a financial planner is also wise if you do not want to put your business at risk.

Call the Divorce Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today

Your divorce is already complicated enough, with marital assets, children, and spousal support to consider. If you are a woman that earns a higher income than her husband, it is crucial that you hire an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you manage your assets. This is an important step to take even if you are still married. Your Wallin and Klarich attorneys have been successfully guiding our clients through this difficult time in their lives for over 30 years.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, one of our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys is available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/04/10/divorcing-women-when-you-earn-more-than-your-husband/

2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/04/10/divorcing-women-when-you-earn-more-than-your-husband/

3. Id.

4. Id.

5. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/04/10/divorcing-women-when-you-earn-more-than-your-husband/

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