A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup or premarital agreement, is a contract drawn up by a couple to set terms of property rights before or after their marriage. There are many misunderstandings about who uses prenuptial agreements and what they are.
What Can a Prenup Do For Me?
Prenuptials aren’t just for wealthy individuals; many regular couples may have many uses for them. Prenups can be used for:
Protecting the property of one party
Protecting one party from assuming the debt of another
Determining how property will be inherited upon death
Laying out rights and responsibilities within a marriage
Clarifying arrangements in case of divorce
If You Don’t Get A Prenuptial Agreement
Individual states have different family rules that are used to determine property when there is no prenup. In the majority of states, spouses have rights to
Property amassed during the duration of the marriage
Inherit their partner’s property upon death
Have responsibility over debts obtained from the marriage
There are a variety of reasons to diverge from the set state marriage and divorce laws. One example would be if someone wanted to pass property they accumulated onto someone else instead of their current spouse upon death. The benefit of a prenuptial agreement is to fit each couples' specific need.
Creating a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
In the past prenuptial agreements were frowned upon by judges due to their association with a rich person protecting themselves from a lower-income partner. The aversion came from the apprehension of the partner being forced to sign, and that it would bring tension or termination of marriages.
However, prenups are now considered normal, are allowed in every state and are just as common as remarrying or divorce. One reason is because there is now more income equality in our society. As a result, most prenups are upheld as valid.
The Courts Role in Prenups
Although prenups are widely accepted, they are still scrutinized within courts and must be done correctly. It is important to make a prenup that is straightforward and easily defensible. Prenups can be thrown out if a judge decides that it doesn’t meet state requirements. Even when creating your own prenup, it should still be reviewed by a lawyer to make sure it can stand up in court.
Have Questions About Prenuptial Agreements? A Family Law Attorney May Help
Many couples struggle to have the “prenuptial” conversation. But the consequences of not doing so are far worse. Family law attorneys are there to help create prenuptial agreements, and can give you guidance on your individual situation, based upon years of experience. If you’re looking for a prenuptial agreement, an experienced family law attorney is your best resource