A prenup agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement, is a legally binding contract entered into between a married couple before marriage or at the time of filing for divorce that enables them to choose and control aspects of their relationship. These agreements are designed to protect the assets of both parties in the event of a divorce. Because of the agreement’s emphasis on joint ownership and control, it has been used in families for hundreds of years. As a result, they are recognized as legal documents in many states and have become the basis for many divorce settlements.
A prenuptial agreement is not a new concept. They date back to Roman times when courts frequently considered them as a way to protect the wealth and property of the married couple in the case of a divorce. The original idea was to provide financial security to the weaker side of a family by ensuring that children would be properly cared for after a marriage or divorce. Today, prenuptial agreements still play a role in family law. Many couples choose to enter into them before marriage to establish a more defined level of shared assets and liabilities.
What You Need to Know
It isn’t uncommon for people to enter into prenuptial agreements. This is especially common during prenuptial negotiations, when spouses may be trying to amicably manage their debts and avoid a potential divorce. While these agreements are not legally binding, couples can still work together to settle their debts and ensure that their financial situations remain stable. They also allow one or both parties to define a fair amount of shared debt and assets that both should be responsible for following a divorce.
For couples that are already married, prenuptial agreements can prevent the division of their assets during a divorce. If one spouse’s assets are under fifty per cent of the other’s, for example, the agreement can save the marriage from dissolution. The agreement can also be used to keep assets from the other spouse if there is a divorce and no final settlement has been reached. By settling debts and other issues, the agreement can also work to keep children from being taken away from one parent in the event of a divorce, especially if both spouses agreed to set up a parenting plan. It can even be used to prevent assets from being sold to pay for child support payments.
Another benefit of prenuptial agreements is to protect one party’s property in the event of a remarriage. Alimony is normally awarded at the discretion of the judge based on state law. In some states, alimony recipients are required to continue receiving alimony payments after their spouse dies. For people who remarry, divorce can be a stressful event, especially if alimony was awarded incorrectly or for an unreasonable length of time. An agreement can ensure that alimony payments are not stopped for any reason by either party and can also prevent the ex-spouse from simply taking the money and getting a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
When looking for an expert lawyer to handle prenuptial agreements, it is best to look for someone who specializes in family law. Family law deals with many complex issues surrounding marriage and divorce, and it is often difficult for individuals to understand the intricacies involved. A good prenuptial agreement lawyer can help ensure that everything is done according to the letter of the law and that the agreement is fair to all parties. Many attorneys offer a free consultation to assess the agreement and tell whether or not it is the right choice for the couple.
Many states require that prenuptial agreements are filed with the court, and these templates can also be found online. These documents outline the details of the assets and liabilities that will be split during the marriage and can often include child support and child custody as well. In some cases, certain assets can’t be transferred during the marriage without the permission of the other spouse, and the prenuptial can ensure that these conditions are strictly followed. By having this document drawn up, the couple can protect their interests and avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
In the end, prenuptial agreements can provide a solid step towards ensuring your future spouses are financially responsible for your future. If done correctly, they can serve as a firm foundation for a successful marriage and give you something to fall back on if things don’t work out. They can be used to avoid the heartbreak of divorce, and to make sure children are protected in a broken home. They can also put a final seal on a long and difficult divorce process, ensuring that no bad feelings linger in the future. Don’t delay!