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Protecting individual finances after marriage

When a Georgia couple gets married, they may be able to protect their individual finances without a prenuptial agreement. This is not just in case of divorce. The couple gets the opportunity to discuss their debts and assets openly, and their finances can be arranged in a way to protect each from the other's debts.

Rather than combining accounts after marriage, the couple can keep their individual accounts and open a joint account. The couple may also want to keep property in their own names. For example, if one person owns a home, that person should also use the individual account to make payments on the home and to pay for any improvements.

Keeping records about financial transactions is also critical. This will help prove which assets were separate in the event of a divorce. Records should also be kept of any inheritances or gifts received. If the couple wishes to make a joint investment, it should be from the joint account. Property such as a home should be appraised before the marriage to establish a baseline for any appreciation that might occur after the marriage since the appreciated value may be considered a shared asset. A revocable trust is another option for protecting assets. No shared assets should be added to it to keep it the property of the individual.

If the couple does get a divorce, these practices may make the process of property division go more smoothly since there will be clear records about what belongs to each person. As long as both people agree, it may be possible to negotiate property division without going to court even in a high-asset divorce. However, divorce is also a time when emotions run high, and if one or both people are unable to negotiate, the case may have to go to litigation.

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