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How can you protect your separate assets?

| Jun 9, 2021 | Equitable Distribution |

If you have assets before you get married, then those tend to stay separate during your marriage. Sometimes, commingling combines assets, though, and you could find that once-separate assets are subject to division with your spouse upon divorce.

Some people don’t want to get a prenuptial agreement, which is not usually the best idea. A prenuptial agreement helps protect your assets and details who gets what upon divorce. Still, it can be hard to bring up, so if you want to protect your assets without a prenuptial agreement, there may be options available.

How can you keep your funds protected against division in divorce?

If you want to keep some of your financial assets protected, it’s smart to keep a separate account. Opening a joint account for shared expenses allows you to put in only the money that is needed to pay for a mortgage or other expenses. Do this instead of combining two separate accounts or adding your spouse to your current account, because separate assets will remain separated this way.

Another thing to do is to keep diligent records. Keep track of receipts for major purchases, so that you can prove that those assets are yours upon divorce. If you receive inherited property or gifts from others, keep that property separate and don’t commingle.

These are a few good ideas to help you keep your property safe during your marriage, but it’s still a better option to have a prenuptial agreement. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your spouse before your marriage, then talk to them after you get married about a postnuptial agreement. This agreement may be easier to discuss since you are starting to combine your finances and may be working on budgets.

What should you do if your spouse won’t sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

If you are getting married and they won’t sign an agreement, then that might be a red flag for some people. You have the option of not getting married and living together instead, but that isn’t always possible. If your spouse doesn’t see the benefit of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you may consider having them talk with you and attorney about the benefits that those agreements provide to them as well.

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