What existing rights/obligations are affected by marriage?

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What existing rights/obligations are affected by marriage?

I own a house and am contemplating getting married. She will not sign a pre-nup. If we would get divorced and my house was inherited from my mother, could she take it? I am in PA. also, this woman pays child support. If I should marry her, will I in any way become responsible for it?

Asked on June 3, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are wise to think about these things now rather than later. The best thing to do is to speak with an attorney in your area on a consultation basis as to how certain scenarios will pan out.  Generally speaking inherited property remains separate property as long as there is no co-mingling of the asset (like money deposited in to a joint account or a home refinances with both names on the mortgage) or actions that show an intention to make the asset joint (like paying off joint debt with the money).  Some states allow the increase in the value of the property during the marriage but also generally the actions of the non-owning spouse have to be active and not passive (putting on a new roof themselves rather than just riding out the market fluctuations).  As for the child support, the order is against her not you but do not be fooled that it can not affect you.  If she defaults and there is an order for garnishment it is possible that a joint tax return is taken or a joint bank account is garnished.  Consult with someone about protecting yourself without a pre nup.  It is possible.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption