Prenuptial Agreement (A.K.A. prenup, prenupt, antenuptial or premarital agreement)
What is it?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract entered prior to a civil union or marriage and outlines division of assets and spousal support should the marriage result in divorce. This agreement is entered upon to make the process of separation easier and to protect the personal assets of both parties. Prenuptial agreements can also outline what happens when they die, similar to a Last Will and Testament.
It is essential to employ counsel, as there are more hurdles should the parties choose to go forth without, and the probability of the agreement being enforced drops dramatically.
There are five elements that are typically required in order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid.
It must be in writing
Executed on a voluntary basis
Full and/or fair disclosure
Cannot be unconscionable
Must be executed by both parties before a notary public
Why is a prenuptial agreement important?
A prenuptial agreement is important in order to protect an individual’s property and interests should a marriage result in divorce. This does not mean that both or one parties involved are rich, but simply that they wish to protect that which they have worked hard to attain.
A prenuptial agreement should be considered if:
You own a home, have stock, or a retirement fund
You own or are a partner in a business
You may receive an inheritance
You have children from a previous marriage
One party is wealthier than the other
One party is supporting the other through college
You have loved ones in your care or who need to be taken care of
You have or are pursuing a lucrative career
An increase in income is anticipated
To protect one party from the other party’s debt
Things you should think about when considering a prenuptial agreement:
It is important to speak with your significant other early on in a relationship and not shortly before a wedding is to occur.
It is important that all information regarding assets are disclosed to assure that the prenuptial agreement will withstand in the event of a divorce; failure to disclose information can result in the agreement being null and void.
It is important to hire an attorney to prepare the paperwork for you.
For further questions or information please contact us.