What Should I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement
Normally, the party earning the most income and/or having the most assets would hire a lawyer to prepare the prenuptial contract. “Then the other party would retain the services of a separate lawyer to review and negotiate the terms of the agreement and make suggestions for possible changes and modifications,” Roxas notes. Prenuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, but occur during marriage after the parties have tied the knot. “They`re just as enforceable as prenuptial agreements,” Lindsey says. “The reasons for getting one vary – sometimes the parties who couldn`t sign the marriage contract before the marriage come back to it after the marriage, sometimes an inheritance comes in and the parties want to take care of it, sometimes a big liquidity event, like the sale of a business, is imminent and the parties want to deal with what happens to the product.” Married couples share everything – the good and the bad things, the ups and downs and, yes, income and debt. If you`re one of the 42.3 million Americans who have student loan debt, or 120 million Americans who have credit card debt (or if you`re planning to marry someone who does), you might want to write in the agreement whose responsibility is to settle this in case the marriage ends in divorce. Couples who opt for a prenuptial agreement usually do so for one or more of the following reasons. If any of these circumstances apply to you or your future spouse, a prenup may be advised. It`s no surprise that a soon-to-be-married couple thinks that exploring a prenuptial agreement would be detrimental to their relationship. “They`re basically negotiating what`s going to happen in the event of a divorce,” says Sandy K.
Roxas, Esq., a litigator and family law mediator in Torrance, California. But it seems that the opposite could be the case. “The divorce rate in California is over 50 percent, but in my sixteen years of practice, only 5 percent of my premarital contract clients have returned to file for divorce or legal separation,” Roxas says. While it`s crucial to retain expert legal advice when drafting a prenuptial agreement, you`ll need to do some preparatory work before involving lawyers in the process. When it`s time to seek legal advice, you should have the essential terms of the contract elaborated in advance. Discuss the nature of your marriage contract, openly and openly, and set out your interests and concerns in writing. Many couples find it extremely helpful to refer to a marriage contract checklist or worksheet to ensure that all their concerns are addressed appropriately. With this rough overview in hand, you`ll be better able to work with your lawyers to reach an agreement that is fair, balanced, and can withstand legal scrutiny. Prenuptial agreements can be more expensive because the parties are now married and matrimonial property must be taken into account.
“The process may seem boring, expensive, and even unnecessary, but if there`s a divorce, a well-worded deal can be worth its weight in gold,” says Elizabeth Green Lindsey, Esq., a domestic relations and family law attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia and president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Generational wealth and future inheritance are two reasons why someone wants a prenuptial agreement. “If a party to the marriage receives an inheritance, it will be their non-marital property, unless they do something to make it marital – like putting the money in a joint account or buying real estate with both names,” Roxas says. “The best way to avoid involuntary transmutation of inheritance is to always keep the inheritance in a separate account and only in the name of the person who inherited. That being said, a marriage contract can and often clarifies when a party`s inheritance remains their non-marital property. “At first, my marriage contract seemed one-sided — my husband Ted is divorced and has children from previous marriages,” says California-based Dr. Karina von Middendorf, who married herself for the first time last November. Setting up our prenup was a months-long process that involved disagreements and back and forth. But in the end, it was helpful to go through the process as it clarified what our marriage and financial future would look like. “When you finally propose a prenup, remember that the goal is not to have the same points of view, but to arrive at a place of understanding, empathy and agreement on how differences are approached.