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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between a couple who plan to marry, to set forth a division of their assets and liabilities, if they were to divorce. This prenuptial agreement will contain a formula which varies from the rebuttable presumption that a 50/50 division is just and reasonable. In essence, the prenuptial agreement allows the couple to control their divorce terms and not leave the court in charge of allocating marital property.

In a legally binding prenuptial agreement, the couple will set forth how they will divide property and debts incurred before and during the marriage. In addition, the prenuptial agreement may also set forth conditions for spousal maintenance and additional distributions of property, depending upon the length of the marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement may not set forth agreements for child support or child custody.

What To Consider

Prenuptial agreements are not exclusively for celebrities or wealthy couples. A couple should consider a prenuptial agreement if:

  1. A significant difference in income and assets of the couple exists;
  2. This is a second marriage;
  3. A future spouse has a high debt load;
  4. A future spouse is a business owner;
  5. A future spouse’s estate planning focuses on inheritance to prior born children; or
  6. A future spouse is going to give up their career as a result of the marriage.

Although most couples enter marriage with the eye on forever, by executing a prenuptial agreement, the couple is provided certainty and clarity regarding what would happen in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements should be signed well in advance of the wedding day. In addition, the couple should each hire their own attorney to ensure that they are making well-informed financial decisions before signing the prenuptial agreement.

Attorney Hains Can Assist with your Prenuptial Agreement

With a decade of experience in family law, Carmel divorce lawyer Joshua R. Hains has a deep understanding of the prenuptial agreement process. If you are seeking an experienced attorney to help draft, negotiate or challenge a prenuptial agreement, contact Hains Law, LLC.