During a divorce, the courts determine which of your assets are marital or non-marital property. All marital property is at risk of splitting between you and your spouse.
You can use a prenup to protect assets you already own going into a divorce. However, in the event of a divorce, a prenup will not cover assets you acquired during your marriage. Luckily, there are a few ways to retain ownership of your property.
1. Sign a postnuptial agreement
Postnuptial agreements function the same way prenuptial agreements do. The main difference is that you sign a postnuptial agreement after marriage. These agreements help you and your spouse predetermine how you want your assets divided if you get divorced, so you can be as specific as you would like.
2. Maintain separate financial accounts
Joint bank accounts automatically become marital property. Establish division by keeping all your bank accounts, investment accounts and other financials separate. If you own a business, make sure you maintain a business account that is separate from your spouse. Having control over your own money gives you a better sense of security as well.
3. Keep assets in your name
Whether you have vehicles, multiple homes or family-run businesses, keeping property in your name can prevent you from losing assets to your spouse after a divorce. Make sure you only pay for the acquisition and maintenance of your new assets with your own money, not from a joint account. Typically, the appreciation of your assets will become marital property unless your spouse is not actively involved with the appreciation.
It is not too late to protect your assets. Keeping your assets legally separate from your spouse can ensure your property stays in your hands.