In Michigan divorces, it is helpful for spouses to enter into a premarital agreement, or a prenuptial agreement, before the marriage. Through a premarital agreement, the soon-to-be spouses can reach an agreement about how certain financial matters will be handled during the marriage and how certain assets will be divided or protected in the event of divorce. Yet many couples assume that they do not need a prenuptial agreement, and then they start to worry when it seems as though a divorce is possible or imminent. It is important to know that while prenups can be extremely useful, there are other potential options for protecting your assets, even if you do not have a premarital agreement. Our Michigan divorce lawyers can provide you with more information. Ultimately, you should reach out to an attorney at our firm to begin working on any asset protection strategies in anticipation of your divorce.
While you may know that prenuptial agreements (or premarital agreements) allow parties to reach agreements about financial matters and property division in the event of divorce when these agreements are completed prior to the date of marriage, you should know that Michigan law also permits postnuptial agreements in certain circumstances. Postnuptial agreements involve spouses entering into an agreement about particular financial issues following the date of the marriage.
According to recent Michigan case law, postnuptial agreements can be enforceable when they are “intended to promote harmonious marital relations and keep the marriage together.” In other words, a postnuptial agreement is likely to be enforced if the spouses are not considering divorce and are not entering into the postnuptial agreement in anticipation of divorce.
Document All Separate Assets Fully
If a postnuptial agreement is not appropriate under your circumstances and you are concerned that some of your separate assets could be misclassified in your divorce, you can protect those assets through careful documentation. You should keep clear and detailed records of all purchases, appraisals, account information, and any other information that will show the asset was acquired before the date of marriage (or through a third-party gift or inheritance during the marriage).
Create Separate Accounts
While separate accounts held by spouses during their marriage can still be classified as marital property and subject to distribution if they involve marital property, creating a separate account can make it easier to document assets and debts. Further, creating separate accounts after the date of separation can help you to protect assets you have earned or acquired from that date forward.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan Today
Are you currently contemplating divorce and concerned that you do not have a prenuptial agreement? Or are you concerned that you never entered into a premarital agreement with your spouse? You may have some options available to you that can allow you to protect certain assets. Our Michigan divorce attorneys can provide you with more information about postnuptial agreements and other asset protection strategies in Michigan. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and about asset protection in your Michigan divorce.