How You Can Benefit from a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement, is a contract between parties who intend on getting legally married. While some may believe that these agreements are only necessary for the wealthy who have many assets, prenups can benefit any couple.
A prenup details each spouse’s financial responsibilities and property rights during the marriage and also specifies each party’s rights in the event the marriage ends in divorce. Many people can protect their important personal interests by using a prenuptial agreement.
Historically, prenuptials were used to preserve individual or family wealth. A spouse with significant assets used a prenup to keep the other spouse from getting a share of the assets or income in the event of a divorce. Prenups were especially important when there was a great disparity in wealth and income between the parties.
Prenuptial agreements are no longer just a wealth preservation tool for the rich. People are living much longer, and many couples end their marriages for a wide variety of reasons. It is not uncommon for someone to be married for a second or even third time. A significant percentage of those re-marrying have children from a previous marriage, and these parents want to ensure that their children get the parent’s assets after death. Without a prenup, certain assets would likely be distributed to the new spouse instead.
Another reason to have a prenup is insulation from debt. If both spouses sign a loan or enter into a credit agreement, they both become liable for the debt. In many states, if only one spouse takes on debt, the other is not responsible for that debt. Married couples often move to other states with different laws. For guidance in your particular case, consult a qualified domestic relations lawyer.
A prenuptial agreement can also provide certainty and stability. Despite peoples’ intentions to remain married until one or the other dies, about half of all married couples eventually divorce. Dissolving a marriage can be complicated and contentious, but a well-crafted prenuptial agreement specifies the property distribution and family support requirements ahead of time. The agreement should allow the divorce to proceed quickly and smoothly.
At my firm, Timothy W. Terry, Attorney at Law, I represent family law clients throughout the greater Orlando metropolitan area. If you are contemplating marriage and wish to protect your financial interests, feel free to call 407-495-2399 or contact the office online for an initial consultation about creating a prenuptial agreement.