Divorce is a common event that happens to nearly half of all marriages. Despite their best efforts, sometimes couples cannot avoid it. One major issue in a divorce is property division. Property is split equitably under Michigan law. But how can you make sure that you get the assets that are clearly yours, such as your business, your vehicle, or your pre-marital property?
Many experts seem to think that a prenuptial agreement is the only way to protect yourself in the event of a divorce. But sometimes couples don’t see eye to eye on having one. They think it is considered unromantic to get a prenup. While it is a great document to have in your arsenal if you want to protect yourself financially, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Here are some other ways you can protect assets in the event of a divorce.
Keep Your Funds Separate
If you had a bank account before marriage or received an inheritance during the marriage, do not commingle it with marital assets. Keep these funds in your own separate accounts so that they remain separate property. Do not mix in income from work, your spouse’s income, or any other marital assets.
Keep Real Estate and Vehicles Separate
Have homes or vehicles from before marriage? They can stay yours even in a divorce by keeping your spouse’s name off the deed or title. That way, if you do want your spouse to receive the house in the event of your death, then you can put them in your will or trust.
Use Non-Marital Funds to Maintain Property
This is where things get tricky. To keep assets in your name only, you will have to use non-marital funds to maintain them. This means you will have to use money from a pre-marriage account or an inheritance account. If your spouse ends up paying to maintain your property, then they will have a claim to it in a divorce.
Get Your Business Valued When You Get Married
If you own a business, get a valuation on it when you get married. That is because the court can make it so your spouse only gets half of the appreciated value of a business and not the entire amount. For example, if your business was worth $1 million when you got married and worth $2 million when your divorce was finalized, your spouse would be entitled one half of $1 million (or $500,000) and not $2 million.
Contact Us Today
When your marriage ends, you need to protect what is yours. By planning ahead of time, you can make sure you take the proper steps to keep your assets.
Discuss property division and other divorce issues with The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins. We can help when there are issues concerning separate vs. marital property. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (248) 646-7980.