Asset Protection: How to Secure Your Properties Before or After Marriage

It’s the 21st century. Everyone who has ever considered getting married should also know that there is always a possibility that the marriage can end in divorce or the death of a spouse. No matter the cause of the demise, you should know that marriages don’t always end happily.

Suffering through a divorce and all the gruesome processes included in it can be financially and emotionally devastating for both parties. On the other hand, there are steps that you can take to lessen the pain of dealing with a divorce, but it’s not one that is taken lightly.

There was a time when the only people who entered prenuptial agreements were those from wealthy families who wanted to protect their assets from gold diggers in the unlikely case of divorce. Nowadays, more people are inclined to enter such agreements because they know that divorce is always possible.

Drafting a marital agreement with a family law or divorce attorney is not a testament that your marriage will end in divorce. It’s not a curse nor a bad omen. Protecting your substantial assets in case of a divorce is ideally a smart move, and here are some ways you can do it.

Prenuptial Agreement

If you have personal assets that you want to protect before entering a marriage, you should raise the idea of drafting a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse. Raising the agreement with a considerable time before the marriage will allow both of you to fully read and understand what the agreement contains.

Basically, a prenuptial agreement states how your premarital assets and marital properties will be divided if you get a divorce in the future. Your premarital assets can include your personal properties, business income, and retirement savings.

For the agreement to be enforceable, it will have to be a written legal document signed by both parties before being notarized. It also has to be voluntarily entered into because coercion can be grounds for the agreement to be null and void.

It should also be fair based on the circumstances of both parties involved. If one spouse has more substantial wealth compared to the other, the law will state that the latter should be adequately provided for in the case of a divorce. This is possible while still protecting your personal assets.

couple sitting at different ends of the couch divorce separation

Postnuptial Agreement

There is still a way to protect your assets after going through a marriage or a civil union. You can create a postnuptial agreement that includes everything a prenuptial has, the only difference being when you created and signed it.

For this agreement to be enforceable, you and your spouse should be able to disclose all your assets, liabilities, and income during your marriage. This because a postnuptial agreement states how these assets will be handled in case of a divorce. If even one party provides unreliable data, such as hidden assets or debt, the agreement can be thrown out of court.

By entering into a postnuptial agreement a year or more after your marriage, you can easily identify your personal and marital properties or debt and how they are going to be divided in the event of divorce. This can also include how much alimony or spousal support one party has to pay and for how long. It can also void the subject of alimony altogether if both parties can agree to it.

Asset Protection Strategy

This strategy can put all your personal properties, business income, and retirement savings into a protected plan that can keep you safe from future liability. Offshore trust plans are among the most common and effective ways to protect your assets from litigation during a divorce.

Asset protection planning surpasses the power of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement entered into before or after marriage. These trusts are also unbounded by your state laws or court orders because the assets are held in international jurisdictions in offshore accounts.

Entering an asset protection plan can be done without your spouse’s knowledge, especially if the idea of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be a sore topic for you. Discussing money matters can be difficult, but it is important to have a substantial amount of wealth that you want to protect during a divorce.

Ensuring that your assets are protected when you enter a marriage is not selfish; rather, it’s a responsible move towards securing that your hard work won’t be lost in the future due to uncertainty. This can be a difficult topic to discuss with your partner, so be sure that this is what you want before moving forward.

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