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Protecting assets in divorce without a prenup

A prenuptial agreement is a wonderful tool that many people planning to make a trip down the aisle use to plan their financial future. However, some people are unable to make such an agreement for a variety of different reasons, possibly leaving some individuals in Missouri worried about their assets in the event of a divorce. There are some steps that can be taken that could protect a person's assets in the event of a divorce, even without a prenuptial agreement.

First, it is important to keep premarital assets separate. Keeping money owned prior to a marriage or received as an inheritance or gift not related to the marriage in a separate account could help later show that it is not a marital asset. Similarly, if one spouse owns the house that will be the marital home, some people might have the non-owning spouse added to the deed. By doing so, however, the property then becomes marital property, subject to be divided in the event of a divorce.

Additionally, it could be helpful to have documents showing the value of certain assets at the time of the marriage. This includes statements indicating the amount in retirement funds on a couple's wedding day and a valuation of a business conducted at the time of the marriage. These documents could help the court determine what is subject to division in the event of a divorce.

Most people in Missouri who are preparing to say their matrimonial vows likely do so convinced that they will spend the rest of their lives with that person. Unfortunately, people change over time and many find they are no longer compatible. Even without a prenuptial agreement, some simple precautions could help a person protect his or her premarital assets in the event of a divorce.

Source: ABC News, "5 Ways to Protect Your Money Without a Prenup", Rebecca Zung, May 10, 2015

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