Planning a wedding is a very exciting time in someone’s life and preparing for marriage is a challenging task. Many people don’t even consider a prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, a part of their preparation for a successful marriage. However, there are many benefits to a prenuptial agreement for both parties in most situations.
The use of a prenuptial agreement allows each individual to make clear-headed decisions about property and assets without the emotional toll of a divorce looming over them. Some situations where a prenuptial agreement is especially beneficial are if either party has significantly more wealth and/or debt than the other, if either party owns or plans to own a business, or if either party has children from a previous relationship. If you are interested, then our prenuptial agreement attorney will be happy to provide a consultation and advise you of how one might be helpful.
Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
What is Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
After a couple decides to enter into a prenuptial agreement, each party must make a list of all of their property, assets, and debts. Openness and transparency are required. If someone were to lie or omit information during the process, the agreement would be void. Most prenuptial agreements include the following:
A breakdown of all of the assets individually owned before the marriage and what happens to them in the event of a divorce. In most cases, the couple mutually agree to keep anything owned before the marriage separate from the other party if the marriage were to be dissolved.
Protection for each spouse from the other’s previous debts. Debt collection agencies often try to collect a debt that one party incurred before the marriage from their new spouse. A prenuptial agreement should list all debts and who is responsible for them – this includes personal debts like student loans, medical bills, and automobile loans as well as any business debts.
If there are children from a previous relationship, any inheritance left to them specifically should be included in the prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements differ on a case-by-case basis. One couple’s agreement may be completely different from another’s based on the needs and wants of those involved. While almost all agreements include a list of assets, debts, and children’s inheritance, individual agreements can be tweaked to fit the needs of each couple. Some specific terms that many couples decide to include are an agreement about whether alimony will be paid, and how much, in the case of a contested divorce, the specific breakdown of all bills and which party is financially responsible, and an agreement on what happens in the event of relocation due to one party’s career.
What is Not Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Any child custody or child support agreement should not be included in your prenuptial agreement. The award of child custody is based on the needs of the child at the time of the custody dispute. Therefore, it is impossible to know ahead of time which parent should receive custody. Since it is impossible to know which party will receive custody, it is also impossible to agree to child support ahead of time. Child support is assigned to the child, not the parent, so the child support can only be awarded to the custodial parent.
A prenuptial agreement is allowed to include some financial expectations of the parties during the marriage. Only financial expectations are allowed, and an agreement should still not include any unreasonable expectations by either party. Some expectations that are often tossed around, but are not generally enforceable in a prenuptial agreement, include requiring one party to maintain a certain weight or hair color, setting a required amount of sexual intercourse, or assigning one party domestic duties.
Postnuptial Agreements in Alabama
A postnuptial agreement is almost identical to a prenuptial agreement. The only difference is a prenuptial agreement is signed before the marriage and a postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage. Sometimes a couple that decides on a postnuptial agreement decided on it before the wedding, but just ran out of time.
On occasion, a couple that has been married for years may decide to sign a postnuptial agreement when their marriage is in a rough patch, and they are considering separation. Whatever the case, postnuptial agreements are a good way to protect each individual after marriage should the parties be unable to sign an agreement in time. Give our prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorneys a call today and we can help.