DIVORCE Protection...

Is there any way to use Land Trusts as an instrument while your still married to shield your assets from being targeted in case of divorce? Assume no prenup. If not land trusts, then what?

Move assets offshore and flee the jurisdiction. Your other alternatives are settle or go to jail. AP planning barely works against creditors and it won’t works against a sympathetic spouse.

If you and your spouse are still on friendly terms, consider a post-nup to isolate the assets you brought into the marriage from the marital property subject to a property settlement in the event of a divorce.

A divorce attorney may be your best source for specific details.

A land trust with an unrelated co-beneficiary should serve your purpose. The Trustee holds title and the trust cannot be partitioned under those circumstances.

PERFECT! That’s what I was looking for. You never know what can happen. So going through with your example, a divorce takes place, technically any investment properties I aquired that are now held in a Land Trust with an un-related co-beneficiary (i.e. my business partner in real estate), that property could not be taken into account when assesing our combined assets, right? What if the property is set up this way, and is generating cash flow which I have been claiming, would that cash flow be taken into account when a judge is deciding how much allomoney, child support needs to be paid? I’ve seen that the more cash flow Hubby makes, the more his support payments are.

Ok, now you’re ready to kick her to the curb and find a 20 yr old replacement!

Whether or not this is true may depend upon the marital property law and divorce law in your state. In some states, property you acquired during the marriage, even though only titled to one spouse is still marital property subject to property settlement in a divorce. Consult your attorney on this point.

Thanks Dave. That sounds like a good idea.

judge makes the law and he doesn’t have to follow what he doesn’t like or doesn’t understand. He isn’t going to understand the land trust and assume you did it to screw your spouse, which is your intent from the sound of things. He will rule against you and give your spouse whatever she wants. He can even rule you and your co-beneficiary engaged in a civil fraud and dissolve the trust. There is no asset protection in divorce unless the assets are outside the jurisdiction of the judge or you are willing to spend a few years in jail.

Thanks BLL. So it sounds like the best thing to do is remain on good terms, and keep the rental property in the event of a divorce. I dought any spouse will want to manage 50+ unit apartment buildings out of state to begin with if they’ve never done it before.

Um, well, unless she watches you and learns; or realizes that a managment company could do the dirty work.

I think the best protection you could have is to continue what you are doing and master it so it becomes second nature.

Then you don’t have to worry about divorce because you can always ‘start’ from scratch; or even better, you’ll have made enough money that she won’t want a divorce or, even what she takes won’t hurt you.

Anyone can take your money…no one can take your knowledge. Sorry I just wanted to put a positive spin on this post…

 It's like Dave said, there are states that could rule against you and let her clean you out if you've committed, let's say, infidelity, and there are states that are no fault.  In CA, all community assets are split 50/50, then alimony is up to the discretion of the judge (or the talent of your attorney), but child support is a formula calculated based upon the income of each spouse and the amount of custody.  If children are involved, I believe that you should try to stay on good terms regardless of the circumstances.

Even in a community property state like CA, a pre-nuptual agreement could designate some property as individual property to be excluded from the marital property to be divided between the spouses in the event of a divorce.

Since you did not do a pre-nup, a post-nup at this time could still accomplish the same thing.

Byrd Dog, yes, ideally, half of a lot is still something. But I’d hate to have to start from scratch.

I think the best thing to do from what I’ve heard is the post-nup. I’d just have to spin it in such a way to get cooperation and not resistance. Thanks all for the input.


Since you are this worried about divorce I am guessing that your marriage must be in trouble right now. Why not just go ahead with a divorce and get it behind you. Then launch your investment plan when you are free and single.

the ultimate, bullet-proof divorce protection…don’t get married… :beer