If you get divorced without a prenuptial agreement, your estate will be at the mercy of the state’s laws in most cases. Prenuptial agreements help protect your assets and to protect you from liabilities, and without one, there’s less security. Prenuptial agreements are flexible, and they help couples actually come together to determine their financial goals and to help them determine their futures in marriage and in the case of a divorce.
If you have no prenuptial agreement, it’s likely your marital assets will be split equitably between you and your spouse. If you are living in two states and want to decide on the best one to file for divorce in, you may also have the choice of community property laws. In community property states, your marital assets are split 50/50 with no regard for what is fair or equitable.
No matter where you get a divorce, your assets that were owned prior to the marriage and kept separate from your marital assets are still your own. Any separate property, including inheritances, won’t be split in a divorce. That helps protect those who have property they never intermingled with their marital assets.
You may not be sure which assets are marital and which are separate. In that case, it’s a good idea to write down all the assets you can think of and take that list to your attorney. He or she can help you review your assets and help you look for those you may have missed. Then, you can decide which assets are shared among you and which are separate, so you can begin to work on a settlement.
Source: Business Insider, “Here’s what happens to your stuff when you get divorced without a prenup,” Libby Kane, accessed June 15, 2017