All other real estate is considered separate property, which means that it belongs to only one of the parties in a marriage. When a couple is divorced, the separated assets are not separated. ERISA is the law that governs most pension plans. It stipulates that the surviving spouse is the beneficiary, unless he renounces that right. If the benefits of the plan are the separate property of a party and he/she wants those benefits to be passed on to someone other than his or her spouse, this should be dealt with in a marriage contract. Yes, yes. There is a trap when a spouse uses his or her separate property to pay the usual cost of living for the couple. In this case, the law treats these expenses as gifts from a spouse to the community. Suppose the woman came to the wedding with a large broker account. The couple was working, but the woman became pregnant and stayed at home with the child while the husband continued to work. The couple chose to use the brokerage account to pay their cost of living, while saving the man`s income for retirement.
The couple empties his wife`s separate assets to pay communal fees and finance/save common funds. As a general rule, the courts will not interfere in the specific provisions of a marriage contract, unless one of the following circumstances applies: (1) a provision of the agreement is contrary to public policy; 2) a provision of the agreement exempts a person from a spousal allowance obligation when the other spouse may be destitute and dependent on the state`s welfare field; (3) a provision on the level of child care is so low that it harms the child`s well-being; and (4) a custody provision is adopted because the parties cannot prejudge the power of the court to make an independent decision on what is best for a child. Where liability is based on the violation of a person or property caused by a spouse, the property separate from the spouse causing the injury and the entire community patrimony of the spouses, including potential accounts in the name of the other spouse, are liable for the debt. The property separate from the other spouse is not responsible for the debt. A pre-contract, premarital contract or pre-marital agreement, usually abbreviated prenupt or prenupt, is a contract between two persons before marriage, marital status union or any other agreement before the main agreement of persons wishing to marry or enter into contracts between them. This should be done with two lawyers separately representing the interests of each person well before the marriage. Another trap exists when a spouse`s separated property is mixed with the couple`s common property, making it impossible or impractical to determine who owns what. Suppose, for example, that prior to the marriage, the woman had a large separate account balance, that the couple deposited their respective pay cheques into that account, that they also deposited separate assets into the account and that they made various expenses from that account, both for collective investments and for various separate real estate investments.