I am considering transferring my business and other property to another relative so that it is held in his name to avoid losing these assets if I do get divorced.
Is this a smart legal strategy?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana property laws where I am licensed to practice.
Since you have been married for several years, it is likely that your wife is aware of your ownership interests in the house and the business. In the event that you two were to divorce, she would likely raise those as items of property to be divided in the divorce.
If at that point you showed her that you transferred or sold the property to a family member, it would likely still be presented to the court. It is possible that she would make claims of fraud against you.
The court would likely view this as an attempt on your part to shield or hide assets and would in turn, possibly award a larger percentage of the estate to your wife. In trying to keep assets for yourself, the court may end up taking more than they would have if the property had been disclosed initially.
To Hide or Not To Hide?
In a divorce, if you would like the business to be property granted to you in the divorce, you may request that you receive that and your wife receive other property or be paid property settlement payouts to allow you to keep the property in tact and for her to still receive an equitable share of the marital estate.
Even if your intent in transferring the property is not to be dishonest, the court may view such a move in that way and may harm your case, in the event you do divorce.
If you believe that your spouse may be agreeable to entering into a post-nuptial agreement regarding the division or property, that may be one way to protect your assets at this point in the event of a future divorce.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.