Marriage is an exciting and emotional journey that two people embark on together. However, it is also a legally binding contract that can have significant implications for both parties’ finances. At Aiello & DiFalco, we believe that protecting your financial interests is just as important as nurturing your emotional connection. There are some steps you can take to isolate your money before marriage to ensure that the premarital assets are treated as separate property.
Create a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that outlines how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. It allows both parties to establish clear expectations and protect their individual assets before entering into the marriage. Prenuptial agreements can be tailored to fit the unique needs of each couple, and they offer a sense of security and peace of mind. Working with an experienced family law attorney, like those at Aiello & DiFalco, can help ensure that your prenuptial agreement is comprehensive and legally enforceable.
Make Sure Your Finances Are Separate
Maintaining separate finances is an essential aspect of protecting your assets before marriage. This includes keeping separate bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts. While it may be tempting to merge your finances as a gesture of unity, doing so can make it difficult or likely impossible to disentangle assets in the event of a divorce. By maintaining separate finances, you can safeguard your financial independence and minimize potential disputes.
Keep Your Real Estate Separate
Real estate is often one of the most valuable and contentious assets in a divorce, particularly our contested cases involving separate property claims. To protect your property, it’s crucial to keep it separate from marital assets. If you own a home or other real estate before marriage, consider keeping it in your name alone. Additionally, refrain from using marital funds for property expenses, such as mortgage payments or renovations. Doing so could cause the property to become commingled, making it difficult to separate during a divorce. If you are entering into a marriage with a piece of real property, a prenuptial agreement would be a very wise investment.
Keep copies of closing statements, deeds, mortgage applications, checks and bank statements regarding the contributions towards any real estate purchased early in your marriage.
Document the Value of Your Assets as of the Date of Marriage
To ensure a fair division of assets in the event of a divorce, it’s essential to document the value of your assets at the time of marriage. This can include real estate, vehicles, investments, and even valuable personal belongings. Having a clear record of the value of your assets can help protect your financial interests and streamline the asset division process if a divorce occurs. Track the value of assets during the marriage by keeping copies of statements, whether in hard copy or in the cloud.
Why It’s Vital to Protect Your Assets
Protecting your assets before marriage is not about anticipating divorce, but rather about preparing for the unexpected. Life can be unpredictable, and establishing a secure financial foundation can provide peace of mind and stability for both partners. Additionally, having a clear understanding of each person’s financial contributions to the marriage can help prevent misunderstandings and promote a more harmonious relationship.
At Aiello & DiFalco, we understand the importance of building a strong financial foundation for your marriage. Our experienced family law attorneys can guide you through the process of creating a prenuptial agreement, maintaining separate finances, and protecting your assets. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for a secure and successful future together.