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A prenup agreement, also known as a pre-up contract, is a specific legal document that is signed by both parties before they become legally married. This contract helps to establish the right of ownership for specific assets after a wedding or divorce takes place. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be extremely wealthy in order to need a prenuptial agreement. With divorce rates sitting around 50%, it only makes sense for both parties to ensure that their financial interests are looked after in the event that a divorce happens.
A prenuptial agreement is typically recommended in situations where there's a huge gap in assets between you and your partner or if there are children coming from a previous marriage. With the help of an experienced prenuptial agreement attorney, you and your partner can help to ensure that you both have an open line of communication about what would happen if your marriage ends in divorce.
While most people will think of a prenuptial agreement as solely being to do with money, that's not always the case. Yes, it's imperative to state what happens to debts, accounts, and assets in the event of a divorce. However, you should also consider stating what will happen with child custody and living situations. There's no one size fits all prenuptial contract, which is why it's so important that you work with a prenuptial agreement lawyer.
A prenup contract is very customizable to the individual couple's situation. It can include a wide variety of terms within its scope. Most prenups will address three main topic areas. The first is what will be considered marital property and what won't be. For example, if you're coming into your marriage with a vacation home that you solely own, you may have it specified in your prenup that it remains only your property if your marriage ends in divorce. The specific assets that you name can be items like homes, cars, bank accounts, and so forth.
Another common topic that is addressed in a prenuptial contract is the planned living situation. You can agree to have it specified that your marital home be sold if you decide to divorce, or you may specify that you or the other party are to legally remain in the marital home. Lastly, the topic of terms for any alimony or spousal support is typically addressed in a prenuptial agreement. This tends to take place if one party of the marriage has a significantly larger financial profile than the other. This is also commonly used when one party is committed to being a stay-at-home parent and will need a reliable income in the event of a future divorce.
When it becomes time to have a prenuptial contract established for you and your soon-to-be life partner, you should always enlist the help of a family lawyer. They can assist you in drawing up a legally binding prenup agreement that will be sure to stand up in a court of law in the event of a divorce in the future. When choosing a lawyer, it's important that you pick one that specializes in writing prenuptial contracts. Many lawyers that fall underneath the family or divorce lawyer field are likely familiar with these contracts.
While you may initially shy away from hiring an attorney to write up your prenuptial agreement, you should think again. There are various legal requirements that have to be met in order for the contract to be valid. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement attorney will be able to go over different topic areas that may need to be included in the agreement that you may not have thought about prior to meeting with them, such as your living situation after a divorce.
Call 949-852-8181 to discuss creating a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement with an attorney at our firm today.
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