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Reasons to keep some property separate in a divorce

Couples in Texas might want to consider creating prenuptial agreements or taking other steps to protect their finances in case of divorce. While some people might think these agreements suggest they are not taking the marriage seriously, they could actually provide valuable security.

A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, with the difference being that it's created after the marriage. These documents can describe how property should be divided in a divorce. However, there are other steps people may also want to take to keep their finances separate.

People should keep careful records of finances including inheritances. To prevent an inheritance from being considered marital property, it's important to keep it in a separate account. If the inheritance or any other type of separate property needs renovations, regular mortgage payments or other money spent on it, the person should use funds from the separate account. If the money comes from a joint account, the inheritance could be considered joint property.

A high-asset divorce may be particularly complicated in a community property state like Texas. This means that most assets and debts a couple acquired after the marriage will be considered community property. Therefore, it is particularly important that a spouse keep records of separate property. However, it is likely that retirement accounts and many other assets will be considered joint property even if only one person earned or contributed to it. If one person owns a business, the other spouse might be able to claim part of it in the divorce. A couple might want to try to negotiate an agreement for property division with their attorneys instead of going to litigation.

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