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Do I need a prenuptial agreement?

A common misconception is that prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy. However, anyone who has any personal assets, liabilities, property, or children from a previous marriage should consider a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement clarifies the financial responsibilities of each party during the marriage and the distribution of property in case of divorce or death.  There are several benefits of a prenup should your relationship call for one.  For example, these agreements can protect one another from the debt of the other spouse.  Another useful aspect is to determine how property can be passed on to children of a previous marriage. It also, indicates whether a spouse can receive alimony.

Prenuptial agreements explained further

With all these protections, it is important to note that a prenuptial agreement cannot cover anything illegal or that can go against public policy.  For example, child custody cannot be arranged as part of the prenuptial agreement as this is part of public policy that is to be decided by the court post-marriage.

These types of agreements can have a time frame involved. The majority of them are effective immediately before the wedding and last indefinitely.  Others will include a possibility to have it go into effect after a certain number of years have passed.  Alternatively, some users decide to have the prenup end after they have been married a certain number of years.

For many people, the last thing on their mind during a marriage is negotiating a contract.  The couples have fun items on their mind, such as the ceremony, the food, and their honeymoon.  However, discussing the possibility of a prenuptial agreement is important. It is a crucial step to prevent problems from potentially developing later.

In order for the agreement to work well, it is important that everyone’s best interests are at heart.  Here are a few things we recommend discussing in order to cover all the needs for this potential prenup:

  •                 Identify important current and future issues.
  •                 Determine your goals.
  •                 Be honest in the discussion. You’re talking about your future.
  •                 List all assets, liabilities, and property.

Postnuptial Agreement

If you are unable to establish a prenuptial agreement in place or you have already been married for some time. It is still possible to obtain a postnuptial agreement, which entails everything a prenuptial agreement does, however it is an agreement put in place after the marriage or civil union has happened.  A postnuptial agreement can be beneficial should things happen in your life that need to be addressed.  One example could be establishing a business after you are married.  A postnuptial agreement can help to protect business interests should the CEO go through a divorce.

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