When people fall in love and plan to join their lives, they seldom consider the assets they held prior to meeting the love of their life. Often people are eager to share what they have with the love of their life; however, with divorce devastating 50% of all marriages and around 80% of second marriages, people should think twice before mixing their old assets with new assets acquired during their marriage.
Preserving their premarital estate can be as simple as maintaining premarital funds in a separately titled account (titled in their name only) and not depositing marital funds (any money earned during the marriage). If a party takes these simple steps, the new spouse cannot claim the premarital funds. Keep it separate. It's that simple.
What Prenup Can Do For You.
Keeping your premarital assets separate is simple, but that does not cover the assets acquired during the marriage nor does it limit your exposure for support or preserve your home for children from a previous marriage.
A prenuptial contract can reduce the risk of expensive litigation. Often, a prenup is the only means one has to set up agreements up front -- when everyone is in love and happy. A contract before marriage (or early in the marriage) can state that neither party will seek alimony or spousal support from the other if both parties are career professionals. No one can limit child support, so only spousal support can be limited or eliminated. A prenup can allow the spouse who put the down payment on a house to recapture all of those funds plus interest (if the parties include that clause) without litigation. The wealthier spouse can segregate the premarital money he uses during the marriage if the parties agree, allowing the enjoyment of the funds, without risk.
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