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If you are planning to get married, one of the issues that you need to consider is whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement. The decision to get into this agreement will vary depending on your circumstances. Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding prenupts to help you determine whether or not you need one.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial contract is an agreement that couples enter into before they get married. A prenuptial contract states how income and assets are to be distributed in the event of a divorce, separation, or the death of one of the spouses.
A prenuptial agreement is meant to secure each spouse’s property when their marriage ends. It also distinguishes between separate property and marriage property.
Who Uses A Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptials are typically used by couples that do not want the court to decide how property is distributed after a marriage ends. Initially, prenuptial contracts were common among individuals who were getting married for the second time. A prenuptial helped preserve the assets of a previous marriage for the children from that relationship. Prenuptials are used for this reason up to date.
The other reason why prenuptials are popular is because couples are marrying in their prime. This means by the time a person reaches their prime they have accumulated significant assets or property. Couples who marry later in life enter into prenuptials to protect their property after they get separated or divorced.
What Are The Contents Of A Prenuptial Agreement?
Any kind of property can be included in a prenuptial agreement. This includes personal belongings, business ownerships, stocks, checking accounts, automobiles, and homes. In many states, spousal support agreements are not allowed in prenuptial contracts. Some agreements include a clause where both parties declare that they waive their right to the payment of spousal support.
What Are The Benefits Of A Prenuptial Agreement?
Being Able to Document Separate Property
In prenuptials, couples can document the personal property they obtained before the marriage. This helps couples separate their personal property from divorce proceedings.
· Determines Jointly Held Property
Jointly held property is owned by both spouses in a marriage. The laws on joint property vary from one state to another. This is why there are “community property states and non-community property states”. In community property states, all the money earned and all items purchased during a marriage is deemed to be community or joint property. For non-community property states, general property is split fairly. This means that not all property attained during a marriage is classified as joint property.
· Reduces The Cost Of A Divorce
A divorce is likely to cost a lot of money. A prenuptial agreement addresses all conflicting issues that may arise during a divorce. This means you are less likely to engage in lengthy court proceedings which translate to more billable hours for your lawyer.
· Assign Debt
A prenuptial agreement is important especially when one of the spouses has debts before entering into a marriage. A prenuptial outlines all the debts that existed before a marriage to ensure that the liability for these debts falls on the right person. In some cases, a prenuptial will state the liability for student loans, mortgage payments, and other debts that arise in the course of the marriage.
Summing It Up
A prenuptial agreement is a safety blanket against your property in the event of a divorce, settlement, or your own death. This contract is ideal if you have significant assets that you wish to protect before you get married. Prenuptials help set the record straight with regards to property ownership, debt liability, and other pertinent issues that may arise during a divorce. Before you consider getting a prenuptial arrangement, it is advisable to consult a family law attorney.