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Yes, a trust can safeguard wealth in a divorce, provided ...

Maybe you're fortunate enough to be the descendant of an Arkansas forebear who admirably set up his or her family to prosper for multiple generations in the future.

And, perhaps as the result of that good fortune, your parents saw fit to take actions to financially protect you in the event that the relationship between you and your anticipated partner for life ever soured, ending in divorce.

It does happen, right?

And when it does, partners with significant assets and income are invariably happy in instances where legal steps were taken to ensure that their wealth is deemed separate rather than marital property by a court in a divorce, and thus exempt from property distribution.

All that comes with a caveat, though, as noted in a recent Forbes article that focuses on the general utility of a third-party trust when it comes to protecting a divorcing party's wealth in a dissolution.

And that is this: The trust beneficiary must be duly cognizant always of the need to act in a manner that makes it clear that trust assets and income are viewed strictly as non-marital property. It is that designation that entitles them to immunity from an equitable property division in a divorce.

And there are myriad ways in which that intent can be defeated, such as commingling (mixing) trust money with accounts held jointly with a spouse, using trust assets to make home improvements, using trust income for the benefit of a family-owned business and more.

Unquestionably, property division in a divorce can be complex, and especially so when questions arise concerning blurred lines between non-marital (separate) and marital property.

An experienced divorce and property division attorney can speak further to this issue, which, for obvious reasons, is a central concern in many divorce matters.

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