Property rights are important during marriage, and if you’re planning on getting married, you may be considering ways to keep your property separate. Sometimes, property is protected because you bring it into the relationship, and other times, it becomes marital property because of how it’s used. One of the things you may wonder is if something you own will become community property or if you can keep it separate in another way.
In most cases, when you own an asset, that asset is yours regardless of getting married. However, if you begin to share the asset, it could become marital property. On top of that, if your asset increases in value, then that asset’s increase in value will be shared between you and your partner.
If you want to make sure not to have to work through complicated financial situations, creating a marriage contract is one possibility. Even if you’re already married, you can still create this contract between yourself and your spouse. You’ll need to work with your lawyer to create and sign a contract that works in your situation. You and your spouse can create your own contract, but your lawyer should review it before you decide to set it in stone.
You can also make this agreement before marriage, so you can exclude property from divorce proceedings if you ever have to go through them. With the right agreement, your property and rights will be spelled out, so neither party has the ability to change the terms or arrangements that were expected during a breakdown of the marriage.