In an ideal world, marriages would last forever. There would be no divorce and the pain of separation would never be felt. Unfortunately, that perfect world doesn’t exist. Spouses often find themselves growing apart and their marriages sacrificed for the overall happiness of all involved in the relationship. Since the reality is that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce, it’s no wonder that prenuptial agreements have become a major cornerstone of family law and why many engaged couples hire a family lawyer in Daphne, AL, to help them construct a sensible prenuptial agreement.
The Basics of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two parties that is agreed upon prior to the marriage. This contract states how pre-marital and marital property is to be split in the event of a divorce or legal separation. In order for the prenuptial to be valid, it must meet the following 4 criteria:
- It must be a voluntary agreement. If it can be proven that the prenuptial agreement was coerced or fraudulently attained, then it could be voided.
- The prenuptial agreement must be in writing. It cannot be a verbal agreement.
- All parties involved must disclose personal debts and assets.
- The agreement cannot contain immoral provisions.
The exact terms and conditions of prenups vary depending on the circumstances and the people involved. However, the basic criteria of prenups is consistent across all cases.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Only for the Rich?
It’s a misconception that only the wealthy benefit from prenuptial agreements. All individuals, regardless of their financial standing, can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are especially beneficial for individuals remarrying or marrying at a later age when they have already accumulated personal assets and wealth. Whether you’re going into a marriage with $10,000 saved in your personal savings or you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks and others assets, it’s important that you protect what you’ve worked hard for before you fell in love and decided to marry.
After-Marriage Financial Changes
It isn’t uncommon for a marriage to undergo a financial boom, especially when people marry at the beginning of their careers or if they start a new business, inherit money, etc. In cases like these, you may want to consider a postnuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements can help you organize your assets should you divorce in the future. This agreement takes into account what you contributed to the household in terms of finances and what you should expect to leave with should the marriage end.
Thinking about divorce when you’re in love and committed to making a marriage work with your partner isn’t pleasant or desirable. Many people avoid thinking about the what-ifs and making plans for a different future than what they originally envisioned because they don’t want to jinx the situation. However, planning ahead can prevent a nasty divorce and potential financial ruin.
If you’re considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact a family lawyer in Daphne, AL. He or she can answer all your questions and help you decide the best next step for your situation.