5 Ways to Protect Yourself Financially Before Saying I Do

5 Ways to Protect Yourself Financially Before Saying 'I Do'

Oftentimes, couples are so wrapped up in their love story that they do not think to plan for the worst case scenario. While every marriage starts with the intention of lasting forever, financial planning can help you to navigate divorce if it arises and protect yourself so that you are not left without a way to pay your bills or continue on with your financial goals. Listed below are 5 ways to protect yourself financially before saying ‘I do’ at the altar.

Maintain a Separate Account: While most couples will create a shared account that makes it simple to pay bills and share assets from, this does not mean all of your money needs to be put into this account. Having a conversation with your spouse about you both putting a percentage of money into independently owned bank accounts can help you to maintain independence and have finances that belong solely to you. This does not have to be a negative choice and can create security for both parties of the marriage.

Keep Your Own Real Estate: If you owned your home prior to becoming married, there is no need to add your spouse to the deed of the home. If you have them as your beneficiary they will be in line to get the home should something happen to you. If you owned the home prior to the marriage, this home will be considered your property should you get divorced. However, speaking with an attorney may be helpful in order to understand more about property division and non-marital property.

Keep Bank Statements for Retirement Accounts Issued at the Date of Marriage: Unlike other accounts that are commingled, if you have retirement account assets at the date of marriage, and at the time of divorce, you can produce a statement that shows what you had in that account, then the court may let you carve off that amount and divide the rest. The challenge is finding those statements sometimes. Make sure you keep statements that show if the custodian changes.

Get a Valuation of Your Business Around the Date of the Marriage: Also unlike bank accounts that are commingled, the court has the ability to potentially carve off the appreciated value of a non-marital business. So for example, if your business was worth $1 million on the date of your marriage and worth $2 million on the date of your divorce, your spouse would be entitled to one half of the difference or $500,000. (Or you could have just had the spouse sign a prenuptial agreement that waived any and all appreciation — but assuming you didn’t, this is the next best option).

Speak With an Attorney Ahead of Time: It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney before getting married. Even if you do not intend to draft a prenuptial agreement, going over the specifics of your finances and learning more about how assets are divided in divorce can help you to make informed decisions during your marriage. This extends to estate planning, getting a certified financial planner, giving power of attorney to make medical decisions, and more. Do not wait until after you are married to consider these important aspects. Remember that marriage is a legal contract and follow these 5 ways to protect yourself before saying ‘I Do’ to protect your future.

Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Many individuals wonder if getting a prenuptial agreement is the best way to protect themselves in the case of divorce. Meeting with an attorney can help you to decide if this is a necessary tool for you to use in order to protect yourself financially. If you are coming into your marriage with assets that you worked hard to acquire and build, a prenup can protect their financial future. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to learn more about prenups.

Here for You When You Need Us

The family law and divorce attorneys at Renken Law Firm in Houston are here to provide you with personalized attention as you navigate complex family matters such as custody issues, divorce, and other family disputes. We offer a variety of services from family mediation to adoption services, so that our clients can find the resolution they need while avoiding costly court litigation. Our clients employ family law attorneys here at Renken Law Firm to ensure their rights are protected and the best interests of their family are in mind.

Though every family law case is different, understanding the process can help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with it. At Renken Law Firm, we have a team of dedicated professionals who are here to guide you through every step of your case, from start to finish. We believe that knowledge is power, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you have the information and support you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, so we can discuss your individual situation and answer any questions you may have.


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11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
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