How to legally protect yourself during a divorce

Attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza shares legal advice for couples during the pandemic.
4:18 | 11/23/20

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Transcript for How to legally protect yourself during a divorce
We turn now to, well, among things that this pandemic has changed, the status of your relationship, lot of plans to get married put on pause. Others might have decided, time to go our separate ways altogether. It's important to know what steps to take to legally protect yourself. Joining us now is asset protect attorney ann-margaret Carrozza. Thank you for being with us. We'll ask you from a legal standpoint, that's your expertise, what have you been during thidemic as it relates to couples? Couples are postponing getting married. We're seeing a 50% drop across the country in terms of marriage license applications, at same time, we're seeing record numbers of married couples reporting that they want out of the marriage. My goodness. We'll continue with this very romantic topic, I guess, robach, but no, this next one here is an important one that has to do with legalities of unmarried couples living together, and you don't have the legal rights that a married couple would and it's something important right now you need to do now to protect yourself. So we need to give each other those rights and we do that by setting up advance directives, I'm going to establish a health care proxy to ensure that we can make decisions for each other in a hospital setting. We want to do a power of attorney so we can handle bank transactions. And beyond that, we need to protect each other's rights to the house. If I'm living in a condo or a house owned by my fiance, god forbid he dies, now it's going to be his family that gets the roof over my head, so we need to set up wills to protect each other, or better yet, set up a trust so we can avoid probate all together. Beyond that, we want to take this extra time before the wedding to focus on doing a prenuptial agreement, to protect each other and give each other financial security in the event that the relationship does not work out. All right, I'm going to take the relationship not working out and go from there, because you do have a lot of couples as you mentioned who might even currently be living in the same house, or same apartment, because of these times who want to get a divorce, what do you do to set up legal boundaries? So the first thing we want to do is change social media and financial account passwords. Beyond this, we want to delete potentially embarrassing videos images -- maybe some amateur videos from shared devices and we want to run a credit report before potentially heading into a divorce, we want to have a realistic look at what the finances are and that includes debt. And then, we want to establish what areas can we agree upon to make a potential divorce less bloody, right, so we want to at the very least agree not to disparage or embarrass each other. We do that within a written document called a postnuptial agreement. Beyond that, we want to revisit those advanced directives, do I really want my soon to be ex-husband being legally empowered in a hospital to make life or death decisions for me? Probably not. So it's very important that we remember that we break up with a very different person than the one we fell in love with, but with some good legal steps W can gracefully transition to our next chapter. That was extremely well put and it's all about planning and organizing and looking at this from a logical, mostly unemotional situation, but a lot of people dealing with this, so incredible advice there, ann-margaret. Thank you for being with us. Thanks. We should have her back for

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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