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Do you have a higher net worth than your spouse?

The question is at the heart of a recent column by financial adviser Jeffery Landers. The Forbes contributor has advice for women who are pondering divorce and make more money or have a higher net worth than the men they are married to.

If you fall into that group, Landers has advice that might serve you in matters of property division and spousal support. Much of his advice applies to men as well as to women, so it is worth sampling his thoughts no matter your gender.

Some of Landers' advice might be more easily given than done, however. For instance, his first suggestion is to talk openly with your spouse about finances. Ask questions, be upfront, and be open, he urges.

He also implores people with substantial assets to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that lay out who owns what. He notes that more couples today are using prenups to make it unmistakably clear which assets and properties are separately owned.

Landers advises all married women to keep bank accounts of their own which their husbands cannot access -- and maybe does not even know about. He also thinks it is wise to maintain your credit rating in marriage with an active credit card in your name.

For people who own businesses, he says you should divorce-proof it. That can be done with a prenuptial or postnuptial, or by setting up a Domestic or Foreign Asset Protection Trust.

Property division can be complex. If you are thinking of divorce, you can speak with a Butler County family law attorney experienced in helping clients protect their assets in negotiations and litigation.

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