Sometimes one person enters a marriage with considerably more assets and wealth than the other party. Unfortunately for some of those people, a divorce later follows and they leave the marriage with considerably less than they started out with. Nothing can be more frustrating than the feeling that a spouse who contributed little to the marriage walks away with a big chunk of what you thought would always be yours. If you have assets, will be inheriting assets, or simply are wealthy, there are 2 primary things you can do to ensure your wealth will be protected in the event of divorce.
You know we were going to list this one first. A prenup is by no means romantic, however, it is absolutely crucial if you want to ensure your fortune is secure from divorce or separation. If you are planning on getting married, the last thing you probably want to think about is discussing protecting yourself from your spouse. We can’t tell you how many nasty divorces could have been avoided had the parties just simply executed a prenup. Absent not getting married at all, a prenuptial agreement is the very best tool you have to protect what you own going into marriage.
The second best thing you can do to prevent a soon to be ex from taking ownership in your property is to keep the separate property you bring into the marriage separate. Do not comingle your assets such that a court would have a difficult time determining what is your and what is his/hers. Comingling of assets can occur in a number of different ways. For instance, let’s say you own a home prior to the marriage. Following the marriage, you put your spouse’s name on the title. You guys do some remodeling or maybe even take out a home equity line of credit on the property. Maybe your spouse makes significant improvements to the property. All of these things could create the appearance of comingling the property and could mean you lose a portion of the total value. Be careful and consult with a lawyer prior to marriage to determine the best course of action regarding your property.
The General Rule
The general rule when it comes to property is that anything you owned prior to the marriage is your separate property. However, there a few exceptions to this rule so don’t take any chances, speak with a St. George Divorce Attorney if you have any questions about diving property or planning for protections going into a marriage. We can help with these issues so do not hesitate to call for a free consultation right over the phone.