PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of Covid-19, we are offering prospective and current clients the ability to meet with us digitally and remotely via telephone, email and through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.
 
We are open for business and accepting new clients. We will be serving our current clients diligently during the Covid-19 situation.

Protection of real estate and businesses from possible divorce

We Serve Berks, Lancaster, York, Schuylkill And
Lebanon Counties And The Lehigh Valley

Protection of real estate and businesses from possible divorce

On Behalf of | May 11, 2015 | Property Division |

Although prenuptial agreements present a legal tool for establishing ownership of assets between married people in the event of a divorce, not all Pennsylvania couples with asset protection concerns have one. Other legal options, however, enable a person about to enter marriage to establish that certain assets, like real estate and businesses, are non-marital assets.

A person who owns a house or other property at the beginning of a marriage can maintain sole ownership of the real estate by not placing the spouse’s name on the deed. To enable a spouse to inherit the property, the owner should make a will bequeathing the property instead of making the spouse an immediate co-owner. A property that is inherited during a marriage could also be protected in this way. Additionally, to legally defend the property’s status as non-marital, the owner must take care to maintain the property with funds that are non-marital. This means that none of the spouse’s income goes to pay for upgrades, the mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance.

As for business assets, an owner can obtain a valuation for the business at the beginning of the marriage. This establishes a baseline non-marital value for the person’s business. Years later, if a divorce occurs and the business has appreciated in value, the business owner could argue that only the value that arose after the marriage can be considered a marital asset.

Even with these steps, property division issues in divorce cases often become complex. An attorney could advise a person about asset protection and record keeping strategies that could protect the property owner’s interests during a divorce. Additionally, an attorney might be able to represent the person during a divorce and advocate for the person’s possession of non-marital assets.

Archives

FindLaw Network
Avvo 2014
Avvo Child Custody
Avvo Divorce