No one who marries ever intends to divorce, but despite parties' best intentions, divorce does happen. This means potentially months of arguments, litigation, or settlement meetings to divide up property, determine custody and placement of children, and other particulars—all of which carry substantial costs. However, for those who drafted and executed a prenuptial agreement before their marriage, the mess and stress that often come with a divorce can be greatly reduced. Learn the basics, the benefits, and whether or not a prenuptial agreement might be right for you.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Otherwise known as “marital agreements” or “pre-marital agreements, ” prenuptial agreements are written legal agreements that define what will belong to whom, should a divorce occur. This can be as broad or as limited as the couple chooses, but most decide to include at least a few of the following:
- Classifying assets brought into the marriage by each party and the projected growth and appreciation of those assets;
- A statement as to which properties or assets acquired during marriage will be considered separately and jointly owned (which can include if or when those assets may be used);
- Whether or not either party will be responsible for financial support (spousal maintenance, formally known as “alimony”), should the unfortunate event of divorce occur (this often includes the amount, terms, and any limitations regarding such payments); and
- How property may be disposed of or passed down upon death (especially important if one or both parties have children from a previous marriage).
Prenuptial agreements can provide many benefits to both parties, and not just during a divorce. In fact, some couples actually have fewer arguments during their marriage since certain financial aspects are already pre-defined ahead of time (and this is sometimes at least half of the battle). In addition, couples may reap benefits such as:
- Asset protection;
- Lower risk of conflict during a divorce;
- Reduced costs during a divorce;
- Pre-set agreements that may reduce the risk of arguments during marriage; and
- Added support for an estate plan.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?
While a prenuptial agreement may not be right for every couple, many do stand to reap at least some of the benefits associated with such agreements. This can be especially true for those who are older, financially well-off, have been previously married, or have unshared children (regardless of age). However, nearly every couple could find some value in a prenup. Just be certain to seek assistance from an attorney if you desire to draft or enter into a prenuptial agreement since failure to properly draft such an agreement could lead to enforceability issues in the case of a divorce.
As a hometown law office, the attorneys of [[title]] offer the personal touch you deserve. Dedicated, trustworthy, and experienced, we can assist you in creating a prenuptial agreement. Moreover, with a history of success, you can expect we will always go above and beyond to meet your legal needs. Schedule your free initial consultation with a Green Bay prenuptial agreement attorney or Appleton prenuptial agreement attorney to learn more. Call 920-739-7366 today.