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Protecting money without a prenuptial agreement in Texas

When people divorce, the property they have acquired during the marriage will be considered to be community property while the property each owned prior to the marriage is considered to be separate and non-marital property in general. The situation can be much less straightforward than it may initially seem, however, especially if assets are commingled.

In many cases, people will have accounts containing money prior to the marriage. They may also receive an inheritance either before or during the marriage. If they deposit those funds into a joint account with their spouse, those assets may become a part of the marital estate and subject to division in a divorce while they otherwise would have been considered to be separate property. People should not commingle these separately held funds in this way. Similarly, they should not deposit income and other marital assets into those accounts either.

Sometimes, people own homes prior to their marriages. When a home then becomes the home in which the couple lives, the person who already owned it should refrain from adding their spouse's name to the title. If they do so, the spouse may seek a division of the home's value in a divorce. Similarly, people should only use their non-marital assets to pay for renovations, mortgages and upkeep on the home and refrain from using marital funds to do so.

The best way to protect separately held assets in a potential future divorce is to try to get a prenuptial agreement in place. In the event that is not possible, people should take steps to make certain those separately held assets remain separate from those that are marital ones. People who are wanting to divorce may want to speak with a family law attorney about how they might be able to best protect their separate property.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Turner, Bruce E.
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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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