Circumstances and spouses often change after marriage. More couples are getting married later in their lives and divorce rates are increasing. For these reasons, entering a prenuptial agreement serves as a type of insurance if spouses choose to end their marriage.
How a prenup works
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract and a financial plan entered by couples before marriage. It is intended to protect each spouse’s property rights and duties by setting forth their agreement on property division and marital property.
Negotiating these agreements before marriage may be less stressful and efficient than when a couple is breaking up. A well-drafted agreement may also encourage couples agree to a long-term financial plan for their marriage.
Prenups are helpful for spouses with substantial assets but these agreements are also beneficial for couples who do not have a lot of money. Premarital agreements may help all couples eliminate confusion, protect assets accrued by each spouse or through inheritance, provide for children from earlier marriages or relationships, and protect a spouse from debt accumulated by the other spouse.
A prenuptial agreement can also cover anything with sentimental or monetary value such as heirlooms, art, or collectibles. A prenup may be tailored to deal with a single asset such as the couple’s home or address potentialities such as receiving an inheritance.
Creating a prenup
Discussions should begin long before your wedding date so both parties are comfortable with their decision. Courts are more likely to invalidate agreements entered near the wedding date because of possible duress.
Agreements should be fair and reasonable for both spouses. Each party must also provide full financial disclosure when discussing these contracts. Agreements that are unfair or negotiated without full disclosure may be unenforceable.
Each person should also have their attorney to advise them of their rights and responsibilities. Attorneys can also help draft fair and reasonable agreements and protect rights.