Many couples balk at the thought of a prenuptial agreement. They believe it would be planning for a divorce instead of a successful marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement can serve as a valuable tool in successfully joining two people’s lives.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract a couple enters into before their marriage to delineate how issues like property division and child custody will be handled in the event of a divorce.
While couples in the throes of courtship may find the thought of divorce distasteful and unnecessary, coming together to create a prenuptial agreement helps a marriage get off to a stronger start. It opens communication lines and ensures that both people are on the same page regarding their marriage’s essential issues.
The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
One of its most notable advantages is its opportunity to create a clear set of expectations regarding marital priorities. From retirement plans to raising children, a prenuptial is a springboard from which couples can discuss the finer details of their goals and ensure they are in agreement. Honest communication allows any conflicts and disagreements to be negotiated and resolved before a marriage begins.
While setting expectations and opening dialogue is one benefit, the contract also offers a legal advantage. Protecting individual assets and securing a financial future is a protection for both spouses. Determining the division of assets, debt, and other financial considerations before a divorce can diffuse conflict if it occurs and prevents less favorable outcomes later. Another critical aspect of a prenup is protecting each party’s pre-marital assets so that it does not add to conflict during a divorce.
What to Do If You Want a Prenup
Engaged couples should consider adding a prenuptial agreement to their marriage planning. Because wedding planning can be stressful, couples should consider completing a prenup well in advance of the big day to avoid feeling pressured to reach a quick agreement without considering all the issues.
If you and your spouse were not aware of prenuptial agreements (or elected not to create one before marriage) but would like to benefit from it now, you still have the option of a postnuptial agreement. The only difference between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is whether it was created before or after the marriage. It is never too late to sit down together and lay the groundwork to distribute your assets and debts.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Because a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract, it must be drafted with care and full disclosure of each individual’s financial situation. If a prenup (or postnuptial agreement) is not crafted correctly, it may not be legally enforceable down the road. This is why working with a family law attorney when creating your prenup is vital.
The divorce and family attorneys of Koiles Pratt are happy to guide you through a process that maintains your assets and ensures your future is protected. Our attorneys take great care of our clients, providing stability, clarity, and sound guidance as we strive to achieve the best possible outcome. Reach out to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney to begin the process of creating your prenuptial agreement.
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