Modern marriage can be a minefield for people who want to protect their assets before marriage or before a divorce. Many couples in North Carolina are opting for premarital agreements to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. Some of the most common methods are listed below.
Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements Enforceable in North Carolina?
A pre-nuptial agreement can be an essential tool for you to use to define and protect separate property during your marriage. Prenups determine how the court will divide your property in the event of a divorce.
In North Carolina, case law says that your pre-nuptial agreement is stronger if both parties disclose all of their premarital assets to each other in writing. Your family law attorneys can advise both of you in what direction to go. Neither of you has to feel the pressure by the other party to sign the pre-nuptial agreement.
Should I Keep My Assets Separate?
If you want to keep the assets that you brought to your marriage, keep them separate. Commingling your funds in a joint account could make it easier for a Charlotte divorce attorney to argue that all money in a joint account is dividable marital funds.
What If I Receive an Inheritance?
If you receive money or other financial assets from an inheritance, North Carolina states this money is separate property within your marriage, unless those assets are commingled with the marital estate. To protect any inheritance, you should keep the money in a different account and keep separate financial records of the inheritance.
Should I Put My Assets in a Revocable Living Trust Before I Get Married?
A revocable living trust could provide you with some protection for separate property added to that trust before you get married. A trust is like a corporation in that it is an individual stand-alone legal entity, and your personal property becomes trust property when it is correctly added to your trust.
Should I Try to Hide Some of My Assets?
In a nutshell – no. If you are headed for a divorce, the legal pitfalls of trying to hide some of your assets are numerous. If your North Carolina divorce is contested, there will be a discovery process of sharing information under oath, to produce specific documents, and to possibly testify at a deposition. If you lie or try to hide anything, the North Carolina courts may charge you with perjury, which is a criminal offense. At the bare minimum, the North Carolina courts can award your spouse more than 50 percent of the assets, and sanction you with fines.
Divorces are emotional issues and can have a significant impact on your life. When you and your spouse choose to separate, your assets will separate as well. Many times, dividing your marital property can be complicated.
If your divorce is amicable, it would be in your best interest to try to agree on how to divide your marital assets such as personal property, real estate, retirement plans, and anything else that was acquired during your marriage.
An asset protection attorney from Remington & Dixon in Charlotte can assist you in receiving a fair distribution of the assets of your marriage, and above all, serve your best interest. To understand how we can help you, call us today so we can schedule a consultation regarding your circumstances.