While many people have high hopes that their marriage will stand the test of time as they prepare to walk down the aisle, sadly that's not always the case. There are some things that you should do before and during your marriage and if you two decide to split up to make sure that your sole assets are protected just for you.
Drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help clearly define which spouse hold which assets. If you owned property, received an inheritance or acquired some other valuable possessions before your marriage, then you'll want to list them in these documents. It'll serve as the best way to protect them from being claimed by your spouse if you divorce.
If you use the proceeds from the sale of a sole asset to buy something else, then you'll want to avoid sharing the cost of it with your husband or wife. If you do, then your assets may be considered to be commingled. If this happens, then a judge may deem that the asset belongs jointly to both of you.
This same logic applies if you receive an inheritance, personal injury settlement or some other gift before or during your marriage. So long as you keep those assets in your account and you don't mix them with your spouse's funds, the assets should remain your's if you divorce.
If you pay joint living expenses with those funds, that can also cause your funds to be considered as commingled -- such as if you pay the mortgage and your spouse pays the utilities.
While many of your personal assets may remain yours alone, you should know that the appreciation of their value could be considered marital property.
One of the factors that often keeps spouses in unhappy marriages is the fear that they'll lose their hard-earned assets in a divorce. If you want to gain a better perspective about what will happen once you and your spouse split up here in Fort Myers, then you should consult with a property division attorney. They can help you understand all aspects involved with a Florida divorce.