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How to protect property without a prenuptial agreement

On Behalf of | May 14, 2015 | Firm News

For many Texas couples who go into a marriage with money or assets, prenuptial agreements are one way that they can make sure their own assets are protected in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement isn’t the only way to keep assets protected if a divorce occurs. Instead, anyone who is getting married but can’t get a prenuptial agreement signed can take steps to keep their money protected.

One important thing that anyone must do keep money and assets safe is to keep them separate from marital assets. This means keeping money in a bank account in only the owner’s name and keeping real estate titled in only one spouse’s name. Keeping assets separate means not allowing any assets owned prior to the marriage with marital assets like pay. Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse during the marriage can be placed with assets owned prior to the marriage as long as the gifts and inheritances were intended only for one spouse.

Another vital aspect of protecting money and assets is making sure that the upkeep and associated bills are paid with separate funds. For example, if upgrades to a home owned prior to the marriage are made using marital funds, the home might be considered marital property instead of separate property.

Anyone who has a business or retirement accounts when going into the marriage should keep proof of the value at the time of the marriage. In some cases, this can be used to determine what portion of the asset is separate property. An account statement from a retirement account or a legal valuation of the business are acceptable proofs for these assets as long as they are dated around the time of the marriage or prior to the marriage.

Protecting assets that are brought into the marriage might give the owner a better financial foundation if a divorce occurs. Knowing the Texas property division laws can help people who are considering marriage to learn the possible methods of keeping assets safe.