When two Kentucky residents decide to get married, they may not be thinking about how they can protect their financial future in the event they get divorced later on. Many people do not like to think about creating a prenuptial agreement or other ways to protect their money when they are planning a wedding, especially since for some individuals, it can feel like this leads to expectations that the marriage will fail.
However, it is important for individuals to protect their finances for reasons other than divorce. Once a couple is married and has joint accounts, for example, both individuals become responsible for debts even if one spouse was not responsible for the debt. There are some instances where estate planning is easier if certain assets remain separate, like cash, real estate and other investments, from the other marital assets.
For couples who still want the convenience of joint accounts, it is recommended that they open a new joint account together and not add a partner on to existing accounts. If the funds have already been commingled, a person should open a separate account if he or she receives a gift or inheritance. People who own businesses or other property that may be hard to value may wish to get them appraised before they get married so that they have a record of ownership.
Even if a marriage starts out strong, there is a chance that it could fail in the future, eventually leading to a divorce. If a former couple has a number of marital assets, those assets will need to be divided up. If the divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement regarding the division of property, a family law attorney may assist by getting an accurate appraisal of the property. A lawyer may then negotiate an agreement with the other party depending on the wants and needs of a former spouse.