When two people are over the moon in love, the talk of a prenuptial agreement doesn’t usually come up in conversation. In some instances, it can be seen as a bad omen or someone’s doubt that the relationship will last. In fact, it made big news recently when Britain’s Prince Harry decided not to do a prenup for his upcoming marriage.
If you or your spouse chose not to engage in a prenuptial agreement, but now one or both of you are having second thoughts, all is not lost. Depending on the nature of your relationship, there may still be a way to protect your assets.
The key to dividing up assets should a divorce occur, is whether or not the finances and assets have been combined under both parties. For example, if you had a piece of property passed down to you from your parents or grandparents and later you decided to add your spouse’s name to the deed, well that’s where things are now shared between the two of you.
The same scenario can be said for banking accounts. If you have a joint checking or savings account, it is nearly impossible for anyone to determine who contributed what monies and how they could be identified. Now if you each chose to keep your checking or savings account separate, which nowadays is not uncommon, that could prove helpful in a situation where assets need to be evaluated and divided without a prenup.
Another good tip is clear record keeping. If you’ve been gifted money, heirlooms, property or the like, ensure you have good records on hand to prove that it belongs to you. If you can’t provide the right documentation then it becomes a more complicated matter of where the item originated, who gifted it and why, and so on.
Even if you are perfectly happy and are just wanting to ensure that assets are protected after you say “I Do,” there may still be cards left on the table. Be sure to speak with a qualified financial advisor and/or attorney to determine your options. Contact our team at Wagstaff today to learn more about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. We’re here to help.