|"C'mon. My dad didn't have a prenuptial agreement, my grandfather didn't have a prenuptial agreement, either. What harm could possibly come to me if I don't have one?"|
If, on the outside chance, your marriage ends in divorce, and you don't have a prenuptial agreement in place, the courts decide on a fair dissolution of your property based on the laws of the state you live in.
Here's a little background...
In the 1970's the Uniform Laws Commission came up with the Uniform Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. This treatise introduced the concept of "Equitable Distribution," one of the greatest misnomers of our time.
Equitable Distribution is Anything But
Equitable distribution views marriage as a partnership and attempts to "equalize" the roles of both spouses, treating a non-working spouse's contribution to the marriage as every bit as financially important as the breadwinner's. As a result, any property gained by either spouse during the marriage is considered 'marital property.'
Let's say you and your spouse have been married for the past 18 years. You start the latest internet business that succeeds beyond your wildest dreams, to the tune of, say, $16 million. Your spouse can file for divorce tomorrow, and if you live in a marital property state, can claim 1/2 of that fortune as his/hers...even if all he/she did for the past 18 years was cook your breakfast and berate you for the fact that it took you 17 years to succeed at something.
The more money that is involved, the longer, messier, and nastier the court battle will be,...
You have a prenuptial agreement in place that protects you. You can specifically indicate that your business venture is your property; in the event of a divorce, your future spouse waives any claim to any business venture that you start henceforth.
|The short answer is: The Courts.|