Asset protection during divorce can happen in one of two ways: premarital asset protection or postmarital asset protection.
Premarital asset protection can be in the form of a prenuptial agreement – also known as a premarital or ante-nuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between a couple before marriage that outlines property distribution, alimony and other monetary issues in a divorce. Prenuptial agreements do not control issues like child custody, child visitation, or child support
Most states will generally uphold prenuptial agreements if they are entered into voluntarily by both parties and aren’t unfair or hiding any information about assets. It is also important that both parties have separate legal representation when being advised about a prenuptial agreement because one spouse may be able to get out of the agreement by citing conflict interest or coercion by the shared divorce attorney.
Postmarital asset protection is in the form of a postnuptial agreement. Married couples may choose to enter into a written agreement if the financial circumstances of the relationship change drastically. Although most states accept postnuptal agreements, there aren’t many divorce laws regarding what makes the contract valid in divorce court. A local divorce lawyer can discuss things you should and shouldn’t include so your postnuptial agreement will be accepted by the court.