No one expects their marriage to end in a divorce when they get married, but that does not mean that spouses cannot take some steps to protect themselves if they get divorced. While not every marriage is doomed to divorce, there is nearly a 40% chance of a marriage ending.
If a divorce happens, you will need to split any marital property, which means it may be wise to take a few extra measures to protect individual assets in your marriage. Here are three tips to help protect your individual assets from becoming marital property:
Do not add your spouse to your deed
Even though you and your spouse live in your house, that does not mean you need to make them co-owner of it. If you put your spouse’s name on your deed, the house becomes subject to property division in any divorce because both of you now own the house. It is perfectly acceptable to leave the house in your name only while you both contribute to your marital expenses.
Keep individual funds separate
Any funds that you or your spouse put into a joint checking or savings account will qualify as marital property for the sake of property division. Place assets that you want to keep into a bank account with only your name on it. If you are not comfortable with the idea of losing half the funds that you put into a joint account, do not put more into it than you are prepared to lose.
Keep detailed records
Any property that you and your spouse own in your marriage counts as marital property unless you can prove that you owned it before getting married. Keep important documents like tax statements, receipts, and warranties to help prove that you own the specific asset.
Your property belongs to you
No one wants to be in a situation where you need a seat belt, but they are glad to be wearing one if they do need it. The same applies to marriages; taking safety precautions in your marriage does not mean you expect a divorce, only that you are protecting yourself from one.