When two people decide to get married, they will be uniting nearly every facet of their lives and forming a legal partnership. While preparing for divorce may not be a high priority for couples, it can be beneficial for both spouses to determine how certain decisions will be made if their marriage ever ends. Setting these decisions down in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can provide spouses with a sense of security, and it can also help avoid contentious disputes during divorce.
We can help you create a valid, enforceable marital agreement that addresses these issues while protecting your rights and your financial security.
Before getting married, spouses can enter into a prenuptial agreement, or they may decide to execute a postnuptial agreement if they are already married. These agreements function as legal contracts, and they can specify how certain issues will be handled in the case of divorce, including how assets and debts will be divided and whether one party will pay spousal maintenance to the other.
Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be beneficial in marriages involving:
- High net worth – A spouse who earns a large income or owns valuable assets may wish to safeguard their property from division during a divorce, or spouses may wish to specify the amount of spousal support that one spouse will pay to the other. A prenuptial agreement can protect a spouse when they are getting married, or a postnuptial agreement can provide protection for assets acquired during the marriage.
- Significant debt – When a spouse enters a marriage with large credit card debts or loans, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that the other spouse will not be responsible for repayment of these debts. If a married spouse decides to make a risky investment, a postnuptial agreement may be used to ensure that the family’s other assets are not negatively affected by this decision.
- Business ownership – A spouse who owns a business before their marriage may wish to protect their interests in this business through a prenuptial agreement. If spouses found or acquire a new business during their marriage, either together or separately, they may use a postnuptial agreement to specify how ownership of this business will be resolved during divorce.
- Blended families – A spouse who has children from a prior relationship may want to ensure that their children will have the financial resources they need following the parent’s divorce or death, and a prenuptial agreement can ensure that certain assets are set aside for their children.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be uncomfortable to talk about, but they can provide spouses with essential protections. However, in order to be enforceable during divorce cases, both parties must agree to them voluntarily, and spouses must fully disclose their finances to each other or waive their right to receive financial disclosure. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.