When couples in Missouri decide to get married, they may want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. This document can specify which property belongs to each individual as opposed to being shared among the both of them and what will happen to shared property if the couple gets a divorce. Another precaution a person should take is difficult-to-appraise property, such as a business, valued before he or she gets married.
A couple that is already married can create a postnuptial agreement. This is similar to a prenup but is prepared after the marriage. Couples can do other things to protect their financial interests as well. For example, even if they have a joint account, each person may want to open an individual account as well.
If either person receives an inheritance and wants to keep it separate from the marital property, he or she should put it in his or her individual account. Any funds spent on inheritances and other separate property should also come from an individual’s account. People should keep careful records of all accounts as well as paperwork pertaining to inheritances. Finally, individuals who are concerned about their shared and individual finances may want to speak to an attorney about their situation and location.
If a couple gets a divorce, and they have no pre- or postnuptial agreement and entangled finances, this does not mean that their only option is a lengthy court battle. A divorcing couple can still make an effort to negotiate a settlement regarding property division with the assistance of their attorneys. Furthermore, even with a pre- or postnuptial agreement and separate finances, if they are parents, they will still need to negotiate child custody and support. Child support and custody cannot be a part of a prenuptial agreement. It may be possible to negotiate these issues as well. However, if negotiations break down, a person can discuss strategies for going to court regarding all of these issues.