Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are a legally binding agreement made by two people before they marry or enter into some form of civil partnership. This agreement is basically a plan for how property and assets will be distributed to the pair should they choose to separate. A prenuptial agreement should involve an experienced family attorney.

However, additions can be made and provisions added for the division of property as well as provisions for alimony.

prenuptial-agreementsPrenuptial agreements can also be called a premarital agreement or an antenuptial agreement. But no matter the name used the basic idea is exactly the same.

Prenuptial Agreements Can Lessen Conflicts

A prenuptial agreement will compel the couple to discuss and decide on all the financial implications of a marriage before it is finalized. This also serves to lessen the conflicts involved if the marriage should be terminated in the future. Anyone who has gone through a divorce will attest to the diminished financial strain of the ordeal if there is less conflict in deciding how the financial matters will be addressed.

Prenuptial agreements give both sides of the marriage more control over a financial future. A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, can include the financial implications for future heirs as well as the partners in the marriage. This means that the couple will have the liberty to decide what happens to accumulated wealth as opposed to these matters being decided by the state law.

Once the dialogue concerning a prenuptial agreement has begun a lawyer can help finalize the agreement.

Some important issues to consider:

  • The presence of children or grandchildren previous marriages
  • Dependent family members, including parents or siblings
  • Assets like property, home, stocks, investment portfolios or retirement funds
  • Ownership of a business, total or partial
  • Potential inheritance
  • Differences in individual wealth
  • Providing financial support for one partner’s college education

Recognized In All 50 States

Prenuptial agreements are recognized in all 50 states, though this doesn’t mean that they are always followed to the letter. There will often be factors to reconsider when the accumulated wealth of the marriage has increased or decreased significantly from the time that the prenuptial agreement was made to the time that divorce proceedings begin.

Prenuptial Agreement Can Be Appealed

Furthermore, a prenup can be appealed if either party feels that the agreement does not favor them or leaves them unhappy in some way. While American courts choose to respect the provision of a prenuptial agreement, it is also important to understand that nothing is concrete and that what is contained in a prenuptial agreement can be challenged and reconsidered.

The experts often recommend beginning such a relationship with a plan to create a fair prenuptial agreement. This is especially true if one or both of the parties is already wealthy or owns assets and property.

Another good reason to have a prenuptial agreement is if one of the people in the marriage will leave work and devote their life to raising children and. In the event of a divorce, this person may be entitled to alimony if there is a divorce before the child turns 18.

Both Parties Need An Attorney

For a prenuptial agreement to be made, both parties will need to have legal representation by their own separate lawyers. Furthermore, they must both agree to a full disclosure of assets. It will be imperative that both parties fully understand what they are getting into and what they will be giving up or receiving through the agreement.

If you are serious about a valid agreement, it will do no good to save legal expenses and download a prenuptial agreement from the internet, as this will not hold up in the case of a divorce.

The idea behind a prenuptial agreement is to plan to resolve issues while times are good and affections are positive. A divorce often changes all this and issues will bring about recrimination that can change the matter at hand.

A prenuptial agreement is designed to allow a measure of rationality and honesty, to set the provisions for an amicable separation before the various issues raised by divorce add their weight to the separation

While no one who is getting married wants to dampen the mood with a plan for divorce, solving these matters in the present can help to reduce the levels of distress and upset in the future.


Mary Daugherty - Colorado Springs Lawyer

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