A Prenuptial Agreement is Legally Binding and Should Be Well Constructed
5%-10% of all American couples opt to create a prenuptial agreement before their marriage. (1) A prenuptial agreement — or prenup — is a contract you sign with your future spouse regarding the methodology of financial dealings in the event of death, separation, or divorce. This may seem foreboding, but with divorce rates being so high and more Americans entering into marriage with significant assets to their name, it is a highly sensible and viable approach to managing your finances.
It is important to note that a prenup cannot be made after marriage, it must be created before the legal marriage takes place. This premarital agreement needs to be thorough to effectively mitigate the financial complications that arise when a marriage is coming to an end. More specifically, the main purpose of this document is to clarify the shared and separately owned property, assets, and debts during the marriage, and afterward as well.
Prenuptial agreements are only for couples who intend on getting married. Unmarried couples will have to create a cohabitation Agreement or Common-Law Partner Agreement for similar benefits.
When you are working on a prenuptial agreement with a qualified family lawyer, you should include certain points to ensure the document effectively serves its purpose.
These points include:
Personal Contact Information
The document should first include the personal details of both parties involved, such as their full legal names, phone numbers, and full home address. This ensures there is no confusion regarding the validity of the agreement if it is ever put into effect.
All Assets — Both Separate and Shared
Since the purpose of a prenup is to protect your hard-earned assets, you and your significant other will both have to clearly outline the assets that you currently own. This will allow you to retain ownership of the asset if a breakup does occur. Assets that you accumulated yourself before marriage and that you want to own solely are considered separate property. The law generally already acknowledges that the assets you earned before marriage are yours to keep alone. However, in some cases, the appreciation amount of the asset during the marriage is considered a shared asset. Unless you have a prenup to address the appreciation, you will likely have to share it with your partner if you split up.
Any assets that you wish to deem as shared assets should also be listed so they can be divided equally in the event of the termination of your marriage.
All Debts — Both Sperate and Shared
Not only will you have to mention all your assets, but you will also have to list your separate and shared debts. The last thing you want is to have to take on half of the debt of your partner when you end your marriage. If either party managed to accumulate debt before marriage, they should claim full responsibility for it in the prenup.
Any joint debt should also be considered, and repayment allocated fairly based on the income and mutual agreement between you and your partner. Without a prenup in place, joint debts are usually divided equally between both parties.
Another very heated issue that arises at the time of divorce is that of spousal support. You can avoid the hassle and long legal process of sorting out such matters by ensuring they are already thought out in detail through a prenuptial agreement. You should determine which spouse will pay the other, the specific amount they will pay, as well as the frequency and conditions of the support payments.
It is important to note that a prenup cannot include the details of child custody and visitation, or even of child support. Issues related to children can only be dealt with at the time of separation because the best interests of your children have to be considered. However, all your children must be named in the prenup for legal reasons.
The inheritance rights of each party and the involved children can also be outlined in a prenuptial agreement. Without a prenup, your spouse will automatically get half of your estate. Through a prenup, you can limit the amount they get so you can allocate it to other family members or for charity.
Create a Legally Binding Prenuptial Agreement with an Experienced Family Lawyer in CT Today
A prenuptial agreement is legally binding, when executed correctly, and is a viable option for those getting married with significant assets tied to their name. If you want to protect your assets and businesses and avoid conflict in the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can help you achieve this.
Call experienced family lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get help creating a legally binding prenuptial agreement before your big day.
Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible
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