Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
Pay Online
Legal & Mediation Services Call for a Confidential Consultation
P 215-752-6200 | F 215-752-6202

How to Preserve Premarital Assets without a Prenuptial

If you are getting married and the idea of a prenuptial agreement puts a distaste in your mouth or that of your spouse, but you are still concerned about losing your premarital assets, there are a few things that you should and should not do if you get married without a prenuptial. Never add your spouse's name to the house or bank account you had prior to marriage unless you are willing to gift this asset to the marriage. This is not to say that the house you own prior to your marriage will not be distributed in a divorce, but you can minimize the amount by keeping it separately deeded. The equity that you have when you get married will remain your asset should you get divorced. You should know what this value is when you get married by having the house appraised and keeping documentation on your mortgage balance at the time of your marriage. Without a prenuptial agreement, the increase in value during the marriage will become marital, whether or not you add your spouse to the deed or title of your account. If you have a mortgage and pay it off during the marriage, you will be accumulating marital equity even if the house does not go up value. In addition, if you have any bank accounts, you will want to keep the funds that you had going into the marriage in your separate name.


Once you start putting your premarital assets into a joint account, they become a gift to a marriage. This means that if you get divorced and have no prenuptial agreement, the Court will have to decide how to distribute this asset if you cannot agree. If you are in Bucks County, the court will normally apply a diminishing credit value meaning for every year that it was transferred into joint names, 1/20 of the asset will be considered as marital and you can seek a credit for the balance. After 20 years, you will get no credit for the premarital asset you contributed to joint names. When you start gifting your premarital assets to the marriage without a prenuptial in place, you should be very careful to document both the amount of your contribution and the source of funds. This way, if you do end up in a divorce, you will be better prepared to argue for the diminishing credit if you are in Bucks County or a more equitable share of the asset. 

For more information on prenuptials, see /Family-Law-Divorce/Prenuptial-Agreements.shtml

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for response

Do You Need Answers?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Firm Locations

Langhorne Office
174 Middletown Blvd
#300
Langhorne, PA 19047

Phone: 215-752-6200
Fax: 215-752-6202
Langhorne Law Office Map

Doylestown Office
196 West Ashland Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: 215-348-3800
Fax: 215-752-6202
Map & Directions

King of Prussia Office
630 Freedom Business Center
3rd Floor
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Phone: 484-704-2100
Fax: 215-752-6202
Map & Directions

Jenkintown Office
610 Old York Road
Suite 400
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Phone: 267-636-0100
Fax: 215-752-6202
Map & Directions