As our family law attorney has seen time and time again, in the excitement of marrying the one you love, you may neglect to protect your future. When a relationship is new, everything seems wonderful and the thought of a nasty breakup may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, not everyone rides into the sunset happily ever after. A prenuptial agreement may seem on the face of it to be impersonal and shallow, but in the distant future, you may be grateful that you took this very important step. If the person you love truly loves you unconditionally, the prenuptial can be presented as merely a formality. When you work with our family law attorney, you may gain a greater understanding of the benefits of establishing a prenuptial agreement.
Determining if a Prenuptial Agreement Might Be Beneficial
A good way to determine if a prenuptial agreement might be beneficial is to consider what it could look like should you and your future spouse part ways. Finances can trigger disharmony under the best of circumstances, and in the emotional chaos of a breakup, the division of assets can be unexpectedly difficult and tense. If there is already a legally recognized prenuptial agreement in place to divide the couple’s assets, it can make the process easier and less emotionally charged. Our family law attorney can assist you with creating an agreement that will protect your best interests.
The Structure of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is legally recognized and is one that two people enter into prior to marrying one another. When it is created with the assistance of a family law attorney, it will consider issues that might arise in the event that the marriage is terminated in the future. In addition, a prenuptial agreement may address the following:
- Each spouse’s obligations toward, and rights to, assets and whether they are premarital or marital.
- The assets that are included should have no bias toward where or when the assets were acquired or where they are located.
- The right of either spouse to purchase, sell, dispose of, assign, transfer, abandon, or exchange one or more assets should be specified.
- How the assets or property will be divided between the spouses and/or others should there be a death, divorce, or legal separation.
- The elimination or modification of spousal support.
- How the spouses’ individual estates should be handled should either or both pass away or become significantly disabled.
- Additional considerations in light of local, state, and federal laws as they pertain to the unique circumstances of the spouses involved.
- A predetermination of minor child custody arrangements and possibly child support. Your family law attorney can offer guidance as to whether or not this aspect of an agreement will be legally binding.
Legally Binding Prenuptial Agreements
For a prenuptial agreement to be legally binding, it must meet several criteria. This includes having the document in written form and signed by each spouse. Your family law attorney may also suggest having a written and detailed account of each spouse’s assets at the time of entering into the prenuptial agreement. This can prevent arguments at the time of separation or divorce as to what assets came into being before or during the marriage.
If you would like to know more about prenuptial agreements, contact a divorce lawyer in Baltimore to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney.
Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into family law and prenuptial agreements.