Planning on getting hitched real soon? Well, it’s no longer a simple affair. Marriage is essentially a contract, and finances can become rather messy if you decide to put an end to your contract with your partner. While during the time before the actual wedding is a period of much happiness, excitement, and joy, where you couldn’t possibly imagine a life without your significant other, the truth is that feelings change, people change, and marriage statuses definitely change. While you aren’t doomed to divorce, the statics these days are high and whether or not you become a statistic is irrelevant. Having appropriate measures in place to protect yourself financially is important.
What Is A Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a private contract between two parties that is entered into before a civil union takes place. It is otherwise known as a premarital agreement or even a marriage contract or antenuptial agreement. The purpose of the contract is to have the financial matter settled in advance before the wedding takes place so that in the event of death or divorce, things are clear and orderly. It can be regarded as financial planning, while it may seem rather unromantic, it has an important role to play. This is especially true in the event of death as your wishes may be carried out instead of that of the state.
Who Needs a Prenup?
It is a common mistake that only the wealthy require prenuptial agreements. In fact, anybody who is entering a marriage with children from previous unions, personal liabilities or assets or even property, should consider a prenuptial agreement. This document can clarify the financial responsibilities and rights of each party entering the civil union as well as the distribution of property, assets or liability should death occur. Prenups also protect a spouse’s from each other’s debts and can detail how assets or property may be passed on to children from previous marriages. It can also indicate if a party should receive alimony.
What Are the Costs and Legalities Involved?
While there is a multitude of information available online and in books for those who wish to put together their own prenuptial agreement — and it will certainly be far cheaper — it is important to ensure that what you save today doesn’t come to bite you in the future. Investing in professional help to compile a bulletproof prenuptial agreement can come on handy should you ever need the agreement.
In fact, it is often recommended that each party in the civil union gets their own attorney to put together the agreement. Any attorneys consulted with over the matter should be those practicing matrimonial or family law. You need only consult with an attorney who is familiar with prenuptial agreements and is knowledgable about the state laws. If two attorneys are employed, they will co-write the prenuptial agreement and they each will have their client’s best interest at the fore. This makes the prenuptial agreement fair to both people entering the agreement. This is a method that also helps the document carry more weight in a court of law, making it enforceable if necessary to invoke.
What To Look For In A Prenup?
Prenuptial agreements are typically legally binding policies across all the states in America. However, it is worth your while to check whether you live in a community property area, as in these states the law considers assets acquired during a marriage is jointly owned and thus equally distributed upon the end of a marriage.
For a valid and enforcible antenuptial agreement, the document has to be completed before the date of civil union, be written and not verbal, be notarized, be voluntary for each of the two parties involved, contain complete financial disclosure, be fair to both parties and of course, not be against the law or opposed to public policy in any way.
We spoke about statistics in the introductory of this article, and it bears repeating. Two of every five marriages are ending in divorce today. This is an alarming number, and many divorce attorneys are getting a bucketload of cash for every appearance in the courtroom. So it is best to have everything clean and in order to begin with, so you can get on with your marriage with a clear mind and light shoulders – no matter what happens, you and your partner are both in the clear.