There are a multitude of tasks that engaged couples will want to get done before taking that fateful walk down the aisle. However, given all that wedding planning entails these days, it's not uncommon for many of these tasks to go unfinished despite the best efforts of the bride and groom.
While this typically poses no problems, there is at least one task that many engaged couples should probably give very careful consideration to completing before walking down the aisle: executing a prenuptial agreement.
As we've discussed before, a prenuptial agreement is an incredibly valuable tool that can not only establish a couple's expectations concerning important issues like property division and spousal maintenance, but also grant them peace of mind knowing what the future holds in the event of a divorce.
Interestingly enough, however, experts have identified at least a few asset protection strategies that couple's who fail to execute a prenuptial agreement can at least consider:
- If you own a home prior to marriage, resist the urge to put a spouse's name on the deed, as doing so will transform it from separate property to marital property.
- If you had money in retirement accounts prior to marriage, retain the statements indicating the balance at the time your marriage, as the court could conceivably allow you to at least keep this amount in a divorce.
- If you own a business, secure a valuation close to your wedding date, as it can provide a more accurate picture of how much the business has appreciated during the marriage and, by extension, how much your spouse might be entitled to in a divorce.
While these strategies are interesting, they are by no means failsafe. Indeed, those couples who fail to execute a prenuptial agreement should be aware that they can still accomplish their goals through the equally effective mechanism of a postnuptial agreement.