Under Florida law, assets and liabilities are distributed in a fair and equitable manner in the event of a divorce. So, how does one protect one’s assets, especially premarital or inherited possessions or properties?
There are two main methods you can try to protect yourself:
1) Keep your assets separate: The distribution of property applies only to marital assets. So, keep your other/prior incomes or property completely separate. If you put your prior income into a joint account with your spouse, it becomes part of the marital property. Similarly, if you use marital assets, such as money from a joint account, for the maintenance or upkeep of your premarital property, it becomes a marital asset.
2) Prenuptial/Postnuptial agreements: This can also protect your incomes and assets post-marriage. Under such a contract, the couple comes to an agreement on the distribution of their assets and liabilities in the event of a divorce. This is becoming an increasingly common route to protect one’s assets. Couples with children often sign such contracts to protect their children’s inheritance. However, it is critical that both parties understand and agree to all the terms set in a pre- or post-nuptial contract.
Hiring a Family Law attorney is highly recommended to assist in such situations.