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When Should I Keep Property Separate in a Premarital Agreement?

When you have a substantial net worth, you may assume that you don’t need a prenuptial agreement before your marriage: After all, you acquired your significant assets long before you got engaged, which would make them separate property according to the state of California. Separate property is typically something you can always keep for yourself, right?

Unfortunately, this may not always be a safe assumption to make. There are many ways in which separate property can become community property during a divorce, through the process of “co-mingling” – meaning you may be left high and dry later on should the worst come to pass. Our Granite Bay high asset divorce lawyers can help provide clear and compassionate counsel on what terms you may want to include in a premarital agreement, especially when it comes to determining community versus separate property.

When Can Separate Property Become Community Property?

Let’s say, for example, that you have a thriving ice cream shop long before you get engaged, and so you believe that business and any of its future assets will be automatically considered separate property. However, as the years go on, you continue to find new success and turn your business into a franchise, which allows for hundreds of new ice cream shop locations to open across the country. If you then decide to get divorced, any “accumulations” can potentially be considered community property, as long as your spouse can claim they assisted you with the process of expansion. The majority of your business earnings could then be up for discussion in the divorce proceedings.

In another instance, you may invest a significant amount of money into a fund that was originally intended for you and you alone. Time passes, and you gain interest from your investing decisions: Interest that then flows to your spouse to help out when times are tough. This too could be an example of separate property becoming liable to community property claims later on.

Explore All Your Options with Myers Family Law

While the above are just a few examples, there are dozens of instances where your separate property could be interpreted as community property later on. We know how uncomfortable some of these conversations can be, and that it can be stressful to consider a prenuptial agreement in the weeks and months before your marriage. However, those with a high net worth or complex assets may particularly benefit from marital agreements, in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

With decades of experience helping couples in similar positions, our Placer County high asset divorce attorneys can provide the tactful and thoughtful counsel you need. With both a Board Certified Family Law Attorney and a Certified Mediator on staff, you can rest assured that we will provide listening ears and skilled legal advice for any complex family law matter, from crafting an airtight premarital agreement to examining your options for divorce and separation, should the need arise.

If any of this may apply to your unique situation, call us at 916-634-0067 today for a low-cost consultation.

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