You'll be walking down the aisle soon in Florida, and all the wedding plans are made. You even have a plan for how to maintain your finances after you're married.
You'll keep your own account, and your spouse will keep one too. There will be no commingling of funds, you decide, just in case you wind up divorcing. You each contribute to a joint household account to pay your living expenses, such as groceries, utilities and housing. What you have left over is yours and yours alone, right?
Not necessarily. Once you get married, don't assume that your division of assets would hold up in a divorce or that what you brought into the marriage will be considered just yours.
While Florida is an equitable distribution state, it often can be argued that assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse are marital property. Assets, then, are to be divided fairly but not necessarily equally.
The best way to protect your money in case of divorce is with a prenuptial agreement. By having a prenup in place, couples can get the talk of finances out in the open before marriage and develop a plan suitable to both.
One financial adviser told CNBC that if couples choose not to sign a prenup, it's vital to take stock of their assets immediately before getting married by saving or printing copies of all financial statements to know what assets and debts they brought into the marriage.
If you inherit money during your marriage, keep it separate and don't use it to fund something such as a new bathroom. Once you do that, the money is considered commingled. If you divorce and sell the house, you probably won't get back the money you put into the project.
There is a lot to consider when you get married, and your financial future is a significant part of it. It's best not to make any assumptions about how your money would be split in the event of a divorce. It's wise to seek legal advice about property division before getting married or if you're already married and planning to divorce.