Prenuptial agreements, also known as “prenups,” are contracts entered into by couples prior to marriage. Postnuptial agreements, also known as “postnups”, are similar except couples enter into them after marriage. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are designed to protect the financial interests of individuals in the event of a divorce or even death.
Prenuptial agreements can be especially beneficial for those who have children from previous relationships. A prenuptial agreement, in this circumstance, can clarify how you intend to distribute your assets upon your death.
For individuals with business interests or substantial assets, prenuptial agreements can also be used to ensure they retain control and ownership over these interests in the event of a divorce.
It is not always easy to broach the subject of entering into a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse. However, having such a discussion and predetermining how your assets will be divided in the event of a divorce may actually strengthen your relationship. It is important that you and your future spouse openly discuss your respective goals, intentions and expectations surrounding finances. Do you both have the same philosophy when it comes to how you will spend or save in the years to come?
If you and your spouse do decide to enter into a prenuptial agreement, it is important to do it the right way to avoid lengthy and expensive future litigation in determining the validity of the agreement if you do divorce. To be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must be in writing, signed by you and your future spouse, and both of you must make complete financial disclosures to each other.
It is also important that each of you have an opportunity to obtain your own legal representation; it is unethical for one attorney to represent both of you in the negotiation of a prenuptial agreement. It is best to have the prenuptial agreement negotiated and signed well in advance of your wedding date in order to avoid the appearance that one of you signed the agreement under duress.
If you are getting married and would like to discuss how a prenuptial agreement would be beneficial for you, contact an experienced attorney at Jacobson Family Law at 443-917-1517 or Schedule an Appointment.