3 Tips for Preserving Your Premarital Assets

No bride or groom walks down the aisle thinking about the day of the divorce. Sadly, however, statistics from the National Center for Health and Statistics, which tracks national data for marriages and divorces, show marriage does not always get the fairy tale ending. As Pittsburgh asset protection attorneys and prenuptial lawyers working with couples through divorce and estate planning we have an intricate understand of how advance planning may help save a substantial amount of money later.

Here are three tips for preserving your assets.

  1. If you own a pre-marital home, think carefully about titling the house jointly with your spouse. Joint titling is a common and effective estate planning technique, but also has the consequence of converting the home into a marital asset upon divorce. The result is having the entire equity in the residence as a marital asset. If you keep the house in your own name, only the increase in value during the marriage is a marital asset.
  2. If you inherit property or money, consider keeping the inheritance separate, in your own name. When people invest their separate inheritance into a joint account, the entire inheritance may be converted to a marital asset. Your benefactor wanted you to receive the funds or property for a reason, so there is no need to feel guilt or pressure to place into joint names. If you maintain the inheritance as a separate asset, only the increase in value is marital, but not the principal.
  3. If you have a pre-marital checking or savings account, you might want to keep it separate. You can open a joint account and use it during the marriage while also maintaining your separate account. Again, only the increase in value would be marital.

These techniques for preserving your premarital assets in divorce can be weaved into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or implemented without a marital agreement. Asset preservation is a legitimate goal in estate planning. Either way, keeping premarital property separate is a proper method of preserving premarital assets in divorce.

To review your assets prior to marriage with an experienced Pittsburgh asset protection attorney, contact our family law attorneys at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC at (412) 471-9000 and we can evaluate your individual situation.

About the Author

A partner at Pollock Begg, Stephanie L. Jablon holds a dual certification in mediation and collaborative law and works to swiftly resolve cases amicably for her clients. Stephanie is a case note author and has presented legal education workshops and lectures.

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