Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/Question for Dan

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QUESTION: Dear expert

I am 36 years old; I have some money in the bank. I was never married before; I have no property, no assets and no kids. I want to get married and want to protect the money in case of divorce. I do not want to do prenuptial agreement.

I heard that divorce is a civil matter and the money that are in savings and market accounts are not part of the civil cases. Even if I have bank accounts under my name, my spouse will not be able to ask for anything in case of divorce because that money were made before marriage and bank accounts have nothing to do with civil cases. Is that correct?

If my spouse is allowed to ask for 50 percent of my bank money, is there any way I can protect these money other than using prenuptial agreement? For example, doing something like trust documents might work? Or, may I put the money under my sisterís name and prevent her from using this money?

Thank you for your help

ANSWER: Hi Sam, you would need to confirm this with a family law attorney in your state, if your reside in a state other than Florida, but generally premarital assets including financial accounts remain premarital as long as they are not later commingled with marital funds. So what does that mean? Well, if you want the savings you have now to remain non-marital then you would need to put them into an account separate from all other funds you earn from work or activities after the day you are married. If you made a deposit to that account from money you earned after the date of marriage you would have then commingled marital funds with non-marital funds and the non-martial funds would then lose their non-marital nature.  The basic thing to remember is that after you are married any funds you obtain from work and any asset you may obtain with those funds is a marital asset. The same is true of debts, any debt you or your wife incur during the marriage are considered marital debts and both of you are responsible for the same, as far as the family court is concerned, regardless of who's name the debt or asset is secured under.

I hope this information was helpful to you, if it was, please do me the courtesy of rating it. Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you. Additional information may be obtained on our web site listed below.

Sincerely,

Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 653-3951
Palm-Beach-Divorces.com          

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QUESTION: Dear expert

I donít quite understand your statement. Do you mean that as long as I keep my current savings and money market accounts separate in different bank, they will remain permanently separate after marriage and they will be intact in case of divorce ? And any money earned after marriage they will be kept in another bank ?

Only the money in the second bank can be divided in half between husband and wife in case of divorce, is this correct ?

Answer
Money and assets obtained prior to marriage are not marital and other assets obtained or exchanged for those assets, even after the marriage are not marital and are not subject to equitable distribution by the court in a divorce as long as they do not lose their non marital status due to commingling with marital assets. All income earned after the marriage and any asset purchased with that income after the marriage is a marital asset.  

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Dan Bachert

Expertise

I can respond to questions pertaining to Florida Family Law within the specific areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Timesharing, Alimony and Child Support Enforcement/Modification, Equitable distribution, and Inter Family Adoptions.

Experience

Actively practicing Family law in the Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties for the past eleven years.

Organizations
Florida Bar, Family Law Section of Florida Bar, Palm Beach County Bar Association, BNI

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University; Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas School of Law

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