Going through a divorce is draining, both emotionally and financially. When you add children to the picture, a divorce can be traumatizing for all parties involved. There are various aspects of a divorce that can cause stress to boil over, including the division of assets and determining who will have custody of the children. Here's how you can protect your assets from your ex after divorce.

One example of how your ex spouse could wind up with your money is if you die prior to your children reaching the age of 18. If this happens, any assets you leave to them will be placed under guardianship until they reach 18. A guardian will be named by the court and it most likely will be the other parent, your former spouse. In order to avoid this from happening, you can create a trust for your children and appoint a close friend or relative whom you trust as the trustee.

At the top of your to-do list when getting divorced is to update your beneficiaries. This must be done on all of your accounts so your ex spouse does not wind up with your assets upon your death. Many people think that getting divorced automatically nullifies beneficiaries on retirement accounts and other assets. This is not how it works. You must physically change the beneficiaries on your accounts to someone other than your ex spouse if you don't want him or her to acquire your money upon death.

Should you get divorced, most states recognize the divorce and automatically nullify the will that names your former spouse. This means that all references to your former spouse's name will be null and void in the will and other estate documents. Despite this, it is still possible for your former spouse to acquire your money after divorce as mentioned earlier.

It's never a good idea to navigate a divorce without help. An experienced post-divorce estate planning attorney in Columbus, Ohio, can make your situation easier to handle.

Source: Savvy Parents, "Estate Planning After Divorce: Protecting Your Assets from Your Ex," accessed June 30, 2017

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