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How Do I Protect My Non-Marital Property?

Why is protecting my non-marital property important?

Shifting attitudes and trends in marriage have created more marriages where both parties are bringing greater amounts of non-marital property into the relationship.  In many cases, individuals have significant assets and property which make it even more important to consider how to protect their assets prior to getting married.  

Trend #1.  Young adults are waiting to get married.  According to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the average age for first marriages is 29.8 years of age for males and 27.8 years of age for females.  One of the outcomes of this trend is that married couples have many more years to save money, acquire assets, buy real estate and start businesses. 

Trend #2.  According to the Pew Research center 40% of marriages now involve at least one partner who has been married previously.   Not only are first time marriages more likely to bring significant amounts of non-marital property to marriage but so do subsequent marriages.  

Given these trends, you should give the protection of your assets serious thought before entering into marriage.  You also should feel comfortable discussing the topic with a potential spouse. You both will need a family lawyer who can help both you to create a prenuptial agreement that can help both you and your future spouse chart out a financial course for your future.  

Who should consider prenuptial agreements?

First marriage business owners.  If you own a business, you will want to retain control of your business in the event of a divorce.  Without a prenuptial agreement, the appreciated value in your business could be recognized as marital property and subject to division.  This means you could find yourself in a position where you are needing to determine the marital value of your business and the non-marital value of your business.  Entering into a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that you do not find yourself having to address the complexities of a business valuation for the marital division of your business.  

Second marriages with property and children.  For individuals with children who are entering second marriages there is the additional challenge of protecting and providing for your children.  A prenuptial agreement can help with estate planning and ensuring that your property is distributed to your children according to your wishes.  

First marriage trust or inheritance recipients.  If this is your first marriage and you have received or expect to receive a trust fund or significant inheritance from other family members, you should definitely consult with a lawyer before getting married.  Without a prenuptial agreement in place, your future spouse could end up receiving an equitable financial interest in your trust or inheritance based upon the income or appreciation.  

Why you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement.

The idea of asking your fiance to “sign a prenup” may feel too businesslike for you when first considering it.  However, being able to have productive and reasonable financial conversations is an important foundation for any marriage.  

Prenuptials are not a presumption that divorce is around the corner, but rather a cornerstone of wealth management conversations for the two of you.  You both enter the marriage with separate funds, separate accounts and separate property.  A prenuptial allows you both to control your own financial welfare vs. the state deciding this during a divorce proceeding.

Prenuptial agreements are effective in ensuring any assets earned prior to your marriage are not treated as marital property once married.  Your income may also be protected if you keep it in a single account.  Last, it is also to protect each part from the other’s debts.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Post-nuptial agreements are drafted after getting married.  They are an agreement that recognizes your assets and potential responsibilities after a marriage.  Kentucky recognizes post-nuptial agreements when done correctly. 


Serving the residents of Kenton County, Campbell County and Boone County, the law office of Jackson Family Law is ready to help you with your family law issues.  At Jackson Family Law you won’t get lost in the shuffle. Our service oriented staff is highly organized and highly responsive, promptly responding to all client communications.   

About Jackson Family Law

Jackson Family Law has been serving the families of Northern Kentucky for 24 years.  

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