Why should I execute a prenuptial agreement?

Often, a soon-to-be-wed couple in Lexington will take care to ensure their big day is just as they pictured it. It can be easy to get wrapped up in wedding planning. However, the wedding is only one day — the couple should also give thought to the rest of their married life, including the reality that not every marriage lasts.

One topic that should be broached before walking down the aisle, as unromantic as it may be, is executing a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are especially important if one or both spouses is entering the marriage with a significant amount of assets. Prenups can protect both spouses’ interests should they ultimately divorce.

At their core, prenups are legal contracts that dictate what will happen to a couple’s assets if they ultimately divorce. Prenups can help ensure the division of assets is fair to both parties, especially if:

  • One or both spouses come to the marriage with a significant amount of assets
  • One spouse has children from a previous marriage that they want to provide for
  • They are business owners or if one spouse earns significantly more than the other

Prenups can dictate what property is separate and what is marital. Spousal support can be addressed in a prenup. However, child custody and child support are two topics that cannot be included in a prenup.

State law varies regarding what is necessary to execute an enforceable prenup. In general, though, each spouse needs to retain their own separate attorney, so they understand their rights and the consequences of executing the prenup. Each spouse must also disclose all their assets and liabilities. There usually must be a specified number of witnesses to the signing of the prenup. Prenups can’t be executed out of coercion — each spouse must sign freely.

Ultimately, prenups can help ensure that the divorce process runs smoothly, should it come to that. This is because many major decisions regarding property division and spousal support will already be made. Those who are interested in learning more about prenups may benefit from seeking professional counsel on the matter.

 

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