Maybe you come into your marriage with significant assets that you want to protect should you divorce. Or you may want to either avoid paying spousal support or, conversely, ensure you will be paid an appropriate amount of spousal support should you divorce. To reach these goals, you may need to execute a prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a document that both spouses execute prior to marrying that outlines each spouse’s rights regarding financial issues such as property division and spousal support in the event of a divorce.
For example, in a prenup you and your spouse can name which assets and debts are to remain separate property and thus will not be included in the divisible estate should you divorce. You can also state whether or not spousal support will be paid in the event of a divorce and if so, how much.
Prenups must be executed voluntarily. This means that both spouses must disclose all of their assets and debts so that they both know what they are dealing with when negotiating their prenup. In addition, both spouses should be represented by an attorney to ensure they understand the legal impact of what they are agreeing to in the prenup. Finally, a prenup is only valid if it was executed voluntarily.
Who can seek a prenup?
In the past, it was mainly those with significant assets who chose to pursue a prenup. These days, however, many people from various financial walks of life execute a prenup. Even if they do not have many assets, they may have significant debt that their wish to shield their spouse from if they divorce. If it is a second or subsequent marriage, they also may want to make sure their children are provided for should they die or divorce.
Basically, many people these days can benefit from a prenup. It is not a sign that a marriage is doomed to fail. Instead, it is a sign that both spouses are approaching their nuptials in a way that is financially responsible and respectful of both their interests.