A prenuptial agreement, or “premarital agreement,” is a contract agreed to prior to marriage. These agreements can be wide or limited in scope meaning that they can try to anticipate everything or focus on one narrow issue, like who gets the hamster. These agreements are useful to lessen the financial burden that a divorce can become. They can also facilitate a smoother transition so that you avoid becoming consumed by the legal process. This article will go over the basics of the prenup and how one can help you.
The common assumption is that prenuptial agreements are only necessary for people who go into a marriage with a lot of stuff or wealth. This is untrue. A prenuptial agreement can do many things like organize the financial burdens between the parties, allocate anticipated business property or even disregard specific assets and instead lay down general rules to govern the terms of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement is useful for:
- Allocating assets upon death of one of the spouses.
- Clarify the financial rights and obligations during a marriage.
- Avoid any costly disputes during a divorce, it one happens.
- Or even, protect a spouse from the other spouse’s debts.
If you choose to not get a prenup then you will be forced to rely on state law to govern the rules of your divorce. State law will organize everything from the allocation of property to any support orders, if necessary. This also means that you are at the mercy of the court’s schedule so a divorce could take years, depending on the nature your divorce and the court’s calendar.
If you are getting married then you and future spouse might want to sit down with a lawyer to review the potential legal pitfalls. Marriage is a serious legally binding contract that is not easily ended. You don’t want to enter it lightly and you may not want to enter one without a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can prove extremely beneficial, as the can potentially help you be prepared for every possibility.