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Keeping separate property separate in marriage, P.3

We’ve been looking in recent posts at steps that can be taken to protect assets from divorce by couples who, for one reason or another, do not have a prenuptial agreement. Last time, we spoke in particular about the importance of avoiding commingling of separate property.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of maintaining separate financial accounts, as well as using separate funds to maintain separate property. Couples looking to keep property separate should also be careful to avoid jointly titling premarital property and property inherited during the marriage. Property acquired during the marriage should be purchased and maintained with separate funds as well. 

For couples who are a bit late to the advice of keeping separate property separate and avoiding commingling, all is not necessarily lost. In some cases, it may be possible for a couple who has commingled property to differentiate in property division between separate and community assets by a clear accounting. This can take a good deal of leg work for couples who have not been careful with their assets, but for couples who have minimal commingling, it is a stronger possibility.

Couples who are without a prenuptial agreement but who are concerned about maintaining separate property during their marriage can benefit from consulting an attorney for advice concerning their specific circumstances. An attorney familiar with state law can help a couple to deal not only with their current financial situation, but with how to proceed going forward, whether or not divorce is in the near future.

In a future post, we’ll look at the possibility of striking a marital property agreement after marriage.

Sources:, “5 Ways to Protect Your Money Without a Prenup,” Rebecca Zung, May 10, 2015., “How to stay together while keeping your money separate,” March 16, 2016. 

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