Research shows the typical marrying age is about 30 years old. Millennials are just starting to reach their prime working and spending years, and – so far – most members of this generation are not married. However, for Millennials who are thinking about tying the knot, we’d like to offer a few words of advice:
As you earn more money, maybe buy a home, and invest in a 401(k), our advice to you before you marry is one word: pre-nup. Pre-nup is a common abbreviation for a prenuptial agreement, also called an antenuptial or premarital agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between spouses that must be signed before you get married. The contract lists each spouse’s individual assets going into the marriage and outlines what will happen to those assets if the couple divorces.
Before you get married, it’s important to understand the basics of how the property might be divided if you ever get divorced. By property, we mean both physical property (such as a home, furnishings, and vehicles) as well as financial assets. So, how do you know what property is considered yours, your spouse’s, or your joint/marital property?
Of course, there are always special circumstances. For example, if you receive an inheritance while you’re married, this is considered your separate property – but only if you keep it separate. If you want to keep these funds separate, don’t deposit it into your joint bank account that you share with your spouse. Instead, put this money into an account that’s set up only in your name.
If you’re not married but want to buy a house, go right ahead (assuming it’s a smart financial decision). Be sure to keep records of your down payment, repairs, improvements, etc. This way, you can document what you put in before the marriage. Once you’re married, your home becomes marital property. If you get divorced, the home’s value to your spouse is usually the fair market value minus your premarital investments.
Like the home you bought before getting married, any investments or retirement savings – such as a 401(k) – are your separate property. Get a valuation right before you marry so you have a record of your premarital investments. Once you’re married and you use marital money (such as wages) to invest or save in these same accounts, you create a marital investment. However, with the pre-marriage valuation of your investments, it’s clear what property will not be subject to division if you divorce.
At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott, we’re well-versed in creating prenuptial agreements – just in case the marriage doesn’t work out as planned. It’s worth the extra step to protect what you’ve worked so hard to earn. You will work with one of our highly qualified partners, not a junior associate. We take the time during your consultation to answer your questions and advise you on your Marietta prenup. Please contact the Marietta family law attorneys or call 404-793-6530 to speak with us.