When couples choose to get married, they are usually madly in love and can only imagine a life full of love and happiness together. The thought of divorce most likely never crosses their minds. No one who is about to get married wants to even consider the possibility that his or her marriage could end unhappily or prematurely. However, many marriages do end in divorce, and divorce can be a very unpleasant situation to go through. One of the factors that make divorce so combative is money. That’s why having a prenuptial agreement can go a long ways in making the divorce process smoother.
However, because prenuptial agreements suggest that there is a possibility of the marriage ending in divorce, many couples don’t even want to broach the subject. Therefore, most couples do not have prenuptial agreements. So what happens if couples get married without a prenup and yet they still want to protect their assets? Is there anything they can do to keep their money safe? The answer depends on a lot of factors. There are some things you can do but there are other things that can no longer be protected after you’ve married.
In any event, by taking some of the following steps after you’ve married, you have a better chance of protecting some of your assets that are not considered marital property. The first thing you need to do is keep your funds or assets separate from marital funds or assets. By mixing them all together they will become one big pool that will most likely be considered marital property. The same goes for any real estate you own. If you own property before you get married, including the marital home, you can protect yourself by not putting your spouse’s name on the deed.
If you want to keep your non-marital property separate then be sure to use non-marital funds to maintain it. It is also a very good idea to keep all bank account and retirement fund statements. For example, if you had your retirement account before you married, then you can prove it’s pre-marriage value by comparing it to current statements. That means you could receive a greater portion in the settlement. The same tactic should be used if you own a business before you marry. Consider getting a business valuation before you tie the knot, which could also lead to you getting more from the business in the settlement.
Of course, having a prenuptial agreement can be much easier than taking all of these steps, but if you or your spouse find the idea of a prenup to be unappealing then you can take these measures instead. If you need help with a prenup, or with protecting your assets in divorce then please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins in Michigan today at 248-646-7980, or click here.