Prenuptial agreements can be a great tool for individuals seeking to protect their assets in the event of divorce. However, if a couple does not enter into a prenuptial agreement, there are still ways for a spouse to protect his or her non-marital assets in the event of divorce. If you are concerned about your assets in the event of divorce, but you don’t have a prenup in place, listed below are a few steps you can take to protect some of you assets without a prenup.
- Consider a post-nuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, with the main difference being that a postnuptial agreement is entered into after a couple has married. If you and your spouse did not enter into a prenuptial agreement, but you both believe that predetermining issues such as alimony and equitable division in the event of divorce is the best option for both parties, contact a Georgia divorce attorney to discuss what steps are necessary to enter into a valid postnuptial agreement.
- Keep your own funds separate. If you have an account or fund that was established prior to the marriage, and you wish to retain that account or fund post-divorce as separate property, it is essential that you keep those funds separate. If you commingle assets those assets during the marriage, the account will no longer be deemed separate property, but marital property subject to equitable division.
- Keep your own real estate separate. Just like an account established prior to the marriage may be deemed a marital asset upon divorce if it is not kept entirely separate, separate real estate may be deemed marital property upon divorce as well. To prevent this, be sure to make sure any separate real estate remain titled in your name solely, and be sure to always use separate funds to maintain separate real estate. Even if your spouse is not listed as an owner of real estate, if marital funds are used to maintain it, your spouse can claim an interest in it upon divorce.
- Keep retirement accounts statements issued prior to and at the date of marriage. Retirement assets accrued during marriage are generally deemed marital property. However, retirement assets accrued prior to marriage may be deemed separate property if the spouse seeking to retain them as separate property can produce evidence, such as account statements, establishing which portion of the account should be awarded as separate property, and which portion should be divided as marital property.
There are many other precautions you can employ to protect your separate assets, even without a prenuptial agreement. Schedule an appointment with one of our Atlanta divorce attorneys today to discuss your options.