No engaged couple goes into a marriage planning to get divorced—but maybe they should. As a Tennessee bride-to-be I am certainly more concerned with flower arrangements and dress fittings than I am with whether the marriage will eventually sour. Unfortunately, the romance and excitement of planning a perfect wedding often overshadow the harsh reality that divorce is a common outcome of modern marriages, and it can be beneficial for you and your significant other to have an asset division plan in place before saying “I do.”
Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are probably the most well-known premarital contract thanks to their widespread use by the rich and famous. Because of their association with society’s elite, prenups notoriously suffer from a negative reputation and are commonly believed to be an indication that the marriage is not expected to last. This common (albeit misguided) characterization of prenups means that it can be difficult and awkward to broach the topic with a partner.
Tennessee residents wishing to protect their individual property can avoid the delicate discussion altogether. In 2007, the Tennessee Investment Services Trust (“TIST”) Act established a new form of domestic asset protection by allowing a person to unilaterally transfer property into an Investment Services Trust (“IST”). Tennessee is one of only seventeen (17) states to offer this type of trust, thus making it a fairly unique method for local residents to shield their property from future ex-spouses.