When you don’t have an ante nuptial contract, you are automatically married in community of property. Simply put, without an ANC there is one estate between husband and wife. Everything is shared between the two spouses. When an ANC is drawn up, the marriage has two estates. That of each of the spouses. With an ANC you can decide to add the accrual system. The accrual system is the method in which to calculate what the spouse with bigger estate must pay the smaller estate should the marriage end, either through death or divorce. Only property acquired during the marriage can be considered when calculating the accrual. If no accrual system exists in the marriage, each of the spouses have their own estates and nothing is shared that was acquired either before or during the marriage. With the divorce rate being what it is today, it is wise to get married with an ante nuptial agreement. No one hopes for their marriage to end, but in the event that it does both parties are protected. A family attorney can assist with an ANC.