What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you’re engaged to be married, you’ll likely enjoy the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, whether it’s an “A” list celebrity, a famous athlete, or an up-and-coming musician.

Prenuptial agreements aren’t for everyone, but they can be worth getting, especially if you have substantial assets you’re concerned about losing after a divorce. Also known as prenups, these contracts are legally binding contracts between couples who plan to get married and outline what happens to their assets and debts should the marriage be dissolved. A lawyer can help you determine the correct terms for your contract.

When it comes to marriage, a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two people who are about to marry. The couple can agree to any terms they want before getting married, including who will get the house, what happens to the couple’s bank accounts and investments, how joint property will be divided, and whether child support will be owed.

The Prenuptial Agreement: The Basics

No matter how long you’ve been engaged, it’s never too early to begin talking about your financial future. A prenuptial agreement is a formal agreement that sets out how property (money, assets, etc.) is shared if you or your partner should end the marriage. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can also be created, which outlines how the property will be divided if you or your partner should end the marriage after the nuptial.

The Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreement

Pros:

  1. Protect assets – A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, is a contract between two people before they marry that specifies what will happen to the property, assets, and debts each person brings into the marriage.
  2. Protect family – A prenuptial agreement is a contract between yourself and your future spouse that outlines what will happen if things go wrong in your marriage. It protects your family from any potential financial liabilities in the future and takes away some of the stress you may feel if things don’t go as planned.
  3. Avoid taxes and expenses – Prenuptial agreements are contracts that a couple enters into before they get married that outline how assets and debt will be divided between them in the event that the marriage ends. When a prenup is drafted correctly, it can give a couple the peace of mind that they won’t end up leaving each other with debts that will affect their financial futures.

Cons: 

  1. If one person cheats on the other, it can be voided – A prenuptial agreement is not legally binding in all states, and they are avoidable in certain states if one side tries to back out. Attempting to get out of a prenup by cheating may lead to the prenup being voided.
  2. More issues can arise after a marriage – The reasons vary, but one of the most important is the uncertainty of what the future may hold. Past relationships, past financial circumstances, and potential future income can all play a part in whether or not a prenuptial agreement is necessary.
  3. People need to be more responsible – Prenups include provisions about child support, alimony, division of property, and child custody, and can be difficult to enforce. Couples need to be more responsible and aware of these cons before a prenup is considered.
  4. Legally binding – They are binding contracts between spouses and generally only apply when the spouses are married. Some states allow this type of agreement to go into effect even before the couples get married.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?

Many couples think that a prenuptial agreement should be off the table entirely. However, a prenuptial agreement can be a useful legal document for protecting both the parties involved in the marriage and separating their finances and assets in a no-fault divorce. A prenuptial agreement can put your mind at ease for the big day and for the years to come, but there are certain criteria that must be met for an agreement to be valid.

What a Prenup Can and Cannot Contain

The laws of your state likely dictate most of the things that go into a prenuptial agreement, but there may be a few things that you don’t know about. A prenuptial agreement can specify everything from who will have custody of the children to how much each party will make in the event of a divorce or separation.

A prenuptial agreement can be a legally binding document that protects a couple’s assets before marriage. This agreement can be tailored to include only certain assets and details, and it should be signed by both spouses-to-be and notarized. A prenuptial agreement can also be modified if necessary or voided if one of the spouses dies.

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