What is a prenuptial agreement or Prenup? A prenuptial agreement can be a written contract entered into by a pair before marriage or marital status that allows them to pick and control many of the legal rights they acquire upon marrying, and what happens when their marriage eventually ends by death or divorce.
Couples enter into a written prenuptial agreement to supersede many of the default marital laws that may otherwise apply within the event of a divorce, like the laws that govern the division of property and retirement benefits and savings, and also the right to hunt alimony (spousal support) with agreed-upon terms that provide certainty and clarify their marital rights.
A premarital agreement can also contain waivers of a surviving spouse’s right to say an elective share of the estate of the deceased spouse.
Who needs a prenuptial agreement?
Contrary to popular opinion, prenups do not seem to be solely for the wealthy. While prenuptures are often used to securing the property of a wealthy fiancé, couples with lesser means are increasingly turning to them for their own purposes. There are a number of explanations why certain people want a prenup.
Transfer different property to children from previous marriages. Married couples with premarital children can use a prenup to set out what happens to their assets when they die so that they can transfer on separate property to their offspring and still provide for each other, if appropriate. Without a prenup, the surviving partner may have the right to claim a significant part of the property of the other partner, leaving much less to the children.
In the case of divorce, avoid complications. Or they may choose to prevent future disputes should they ever split, by deciding in advance how their property will be divided, and whether or not a partner will receive a pension. (A few states, however, do not require a spouse to give up the right to a pension, and, in most other states, a waiver of the pension must be strictly reviewed and will not be enforced if the spouse who gives up the pension does not have a lawyer.)
How do I get a Prenup?
You can quickly make a Prenuptial Agreement by using our Document Builder. What you need is the financial details of each partner and the ability to decide on how to plan your future finances. When discussions have proved to be difficult, you may contact a mediator, counselor or religious advisor to help mediate the emotional aspects of the discussion that may occur. After the document has been drawn up, you may want it to be checked by a lawyer. In fact, it can be updated over the years as the financial condition improves.
What financial information is included in a Prenup?
While some young couples have not yet acquired a lot of properties and debt, these days, many couples do so. Studies also suggest that because millennials marry later than past generations, they have more to bring than they would have had if they married ten years younger.
Many single individuals have spent a lot of time building their own companies, properties, and retirement plans, and some have even accrued debt volumes, such as student loans, credit card debt, mortgages, or tax debt. Both clean and dirty financial laundry, whether assets or debt, would have to be aired to establish a detailed pre-nuptial agreement.
And if you have an asset, such as a pension, that you intend to keep for yourself, you also need to announce that it exists. It’s always wise to view and exchange your latest credit reports to make sure you don’t miss a debt to see what each other’s creditworthiness is at present.
What are the limitations of using Premarital Agreements?
The law of the State governs what is enforceable in the Prenup Agreement. You may ask a lawyer if you need to know what restrictions your state can impose. Here are several arrangements that may not be recognized by your State:
The Prenup Arrangements cannot protect or enforce parental rights. If you want to divorce and have children together, you will need to go through counseling and/or the court to agree on custody arrangements.
For certain cases, the Prenup can not accept the waiving of maintenance fees (alimony and palimony). As this information must be included in the agreement, the court can review the payment at the time of divorce and adjust the amount if it finds the waiver to be unreasonable.
Incentives for divorce:
Judges may pursue clauses in the Agreement that tend to include monetary rewards for divorce.
Many judges do not want to see personal details, such as who you are going to spend your holidays with a prenuptial agreement. If required, you may make these agreements in a separate document.
Signing under duress:
When the judge finds that either party has agreed to sign under coercion, they will opt not to accept the arrangement and divide the assets in compliance with the relevant state law. For this reason, most lawyers recommend that the contract should be signed well in advance of the wedding.