Prenuptial Agreements: What Do They Protect and Should You Get One?
Prenuptial agreements, which help a person protect their assets if their marriage ends, are becoming increasingly common. But is a prenup a good idea? In the premarital stage of a relationship, it can be hard to contrast the romantic ideals of lifelong partnership with the financial realities of a commitment gone sour — but it’s something every couple should at least consider. If you’d like to find a way to protect your assets before you tie the knot, prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, can offer peace of mind and financial security.
But what does a prenup cover? And is it right for you? From how to find a prenup lawyer to how to draft a premarital agreement, keep reading to learn all of the facts.
What Are Prenuptial Agreements?
Prenups are legal contracts that outline each spouse's financial rights and obligations in case of separation and divorce. While prenups were once associated with wealthy individuals, they are now common among couples of all backgrounds.
What Do Prenups Protect?
A prenuptial agreement can cover a range of financial issues, including all of the following and more.
● Property rights. Prenuptial agreements define how property and funds acquired before and during the marriage will be divided in the event of separation and divorce.
● Spousal support. A prenup can specify whether one party will pay spousal support following a divorce and, if so, how much.
● Debt. Prenuptial agreements can determine how debt acquired during the marriage will be divided if a divorce occurs.
● Inheritance. A prenup can clarify how to distribute assets in case of divorce or death.
● Business interests. If one or both spouses own a business, prenuptial agreements can outline how the company will be valued and divided in case of separation and divorce.
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How Long Does a Prenup Last?
A prenuptial agreement is typically designed to last for the duration of a marriage and can be revised during the marriage, if the parties agree. Upon separation and divorce, the prenup applies with regard to assets, debts, support and any other provision the parties include.
Some prenups also include an expiration date, which means they will no longer be valid after a certain number of years. Prenups can also be modified or revoked if both parties agree. It’s always best to consult your attorney for prenuptial agreement questions if you have concerns.
Should You Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
While prenuptial agreements are not necessary for every couple, there are certain situations in which they can be helpful.
1. High Net Worth — If you or your partner have significant assets, a prenup can protect them in case of divorce or death.
2. Business Ownership — If you or your partner own a business, a prenup can safeguard the business in case of divorce or death.
3. Children from a Previous Marriage — A prenup can protect their inheritance if you or your partner have children from another relationship.
4. Unequal Financial Status — If one partner earns significantly more than the other, a prenup can help ensure both parties are treated fairly in case of divorce or death.
If any of these situations apply to you, consider a prenup. However, because prenuptial agreements can be a sensitive topic, it's crucial to have open and honest communication with your partner about your reasons for wanting one. Lawyers for prenuptial agreements can help you feel confident initiating the conversation.
Ready to Draft a Prenuptial Agreement in North Carolina? Turn to Spidell Family Law for Legal Help
If you decide a prenup is right for you, seeking legal counsel is essential to ensure the agreement is appropriately drafted and legally binding. Make sure to find prenuptial agreement lawyers who have experience working with clients in your situation.
It's also a good idea to consider an attorney who is familiar with your state's laws, as prenup laws can vary.
The team at Spidell Family Law specializes in prenuptial agreements and can help you navigate the process with confidence and ease!