Marriage is a big decision and an exciting time in peoples’ lives. It can also often be an overwhelming time. Before you plan on taking that next big move, there are a few steps you should take in order to avoid possible complications in the future.
Often times, prenuptial agreements, or “prenups”, are viewed in a negative light. People don’t want to prepare for the worst outcome because that would mean that they have to consider divorce is potentially one of those outcomes. A prenup is the best way to handle asset disputes, but if you are like many who are hesitant to get one, then there are other alternative precautions you can take.
Document your assets. Doing this is critical, and could prevent a lot of unforeseen headaches. Getting proof of your assets at the time of your marriage simply shows what you had leading up to the marriage. Bank statements showing your savings will help you to retain the assets that you had earned prior to the marriage.
Gifts. Make sure to get evidence of any gifts given to you around this time. For example, if your parents help you in making a down payment on a house, you will want evidence that shows that they helped contribute. Gifts often don’t come with receipts, and therefore can be hard to remember, so it is helpful to keep records of what gifts you receive and from whom to insure that you will remember down the road.
Consult an attorney. This may be viewed by some in the same light as a prenup, preparing for the worst, but this suggested list is by no means comprehensive and contacting an attorney can ensure that you know exactly which documents you should keep and the proper precautions you should have in place in the event of a divorce.
Much like having insurance, where no one plans to have an accident, if you are prepared you will be happy that you decided to do so. With the U.S. divorce rate hovering at around 50%, it is logical to take every precaution possible. It is always better to keep documentation and not need it, than need documentation and not have it.