Contemplating a Prenuptial Agreement? Here's What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Family Law Attorney
Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, are not a new phenomenon. Contrary to belief, a prenuptial agreement does not mean the couple mistrusts each other. Talking to your partner about protecting your future initiates essential conversations before marriage. Everybody has a right to protect their resources, current, and future. The prenup is a method that safeguards these rights, and you should hire a family law attorney in Scottsdale to help you navigate the process.
What is a Prenup?
A prenup is a legal agreement signed by a couple before marriage. A prenup lists each person’s property and debts and specifies their property rights if they divorce or one passes away. Most marriages end because of money issues and having money conversations before marriage helps to strengthen the marriage. It’s essential to know your partner’s financial goals, their saving and spending habits, any debts, and whether their attitude about money aligns with yours.
Another agreement you should be aware of is the postnuptial agreement. Also known as a postnup, you sign this agreement after getting married. The reasons for getting a postnup instead of a prenup could vary. Some couples could have initiated the prenup process but still need to conclude it after the wedding. Others might be awaiting an inheritance or a substantial amount of money, and the couple needs to decide what happens with the money.
Who Should Sign a Prenup?
There is a misconception that prenups are for the rich who are wary about losing their fortunes. You do not have to be wealthy to sign a prenup agreement. A prenup is marriage insurance and an excellent idea for couples about to get married. No one gets married to get divorced, but it’s a possibility. A prenup can save you money, time, and wrangling if the marriage does not work out or if one of you dies.
Some circumstances in which you should sign a prenup include:
If Either of You Has Been Married Before
Anyone who has been married before, especially if they experienced a contentious divorce, may not want to get married without a prenup. Such a person knows the issues ahead if the marriage fails and doesn’t fancy getting into a similar situation. If the divorcee felt they got the short end of the stick in their previous marriage, they may feel strongly about a prenup.
One Person is Wealthier
If one person in the relationship is wealthier, they may want a prenup. A person who gets married to a wealthy person faces an improved lifestyle and, in the absence of a prenup, creates spousal support rights and division of property issues in case they divorce.
The prenup also assures the wealthy party that their partner is marrying them for genuine reasons, not money. Generally, the better-off person might ask for the prenup, but it can also benefit both if the less wealthy person gets wealthy down the road.
One Person Has More Liabilities
If you acquire a premarital debt, you should pay for it. A couple can pay for a debt incurred during a marriage, putting the spouse without debt at a disadvantage. If your partner is a spender and you do not want responsibility for any debt they incurred before your marriage, a prenup can protect you from this.
The prenup may require that your joint community property cannot pay for your partner’s premarital debts. If you do not have a prenup, a creditor can collect premarital debts from assets you jointly acquire.
What You Should Know Before Signing a Prenup
Before hiring a family law attorney to help draft the prenup, here are some things you should know.
You Must Disclose All Your Assets and Liabilities
A fair prenup is where both parties fully disclose their assets and liabilities. A person who refuses to declare their assets denies the other a fair negotiation field for their different rights. This lack of disclosure risks the enforcement of the agreement in the future. You must assemble all your recent financial records, such as appraisals, retirement accounts, and bank statements. Ensure you also collect liability statements like mortgages, credit card statements, and personal and student loans.
Stipulate Marital and Separate Property
A prenuptial agreement defines a property that remains separate if you decide to divorce. A prenup can also specify what belongs to both of you and what you should split. If you do not sign a prenup and do not stipulate property division, the judge distributes the property using state laws.
You Should Lay Out Spousal Provisions
A prenup can shield you from alimony payments or specify how to pay the alimony. The prenup can remove the right to spousal provision for one or both spouses if they divorce. In some cases, a prenup can guarantee your right to alimony. These provisions allow you to get independence concerning maintenance and prevent the divorce court from applying state laws.
You Cannot Include Child Support and Child Custody Decisions
A prenup is valuable in determining alimony, property, and debt distribution during a divorce. However, you cannot stipulate some things in a prenup, such as a child support and custody. A court can determine custody and calculate child support in the children’s best interests. Children have the right to child support. Nobody can predict what will happen in a marriage, and nothing makes one parent better enough to claim custody, as both parents have equal rights.
A Prenup Can Become Invalid
You have no assurance on the enforcement of a prenup if one or both of you lodge a dispute. If both of you entered the prenup agreement willingly and made a full asset disclosure, the likelihood of problems would diminish significantly. Some of the reasons that can invalidate a prenup include the following;
- An unfair agreement with unethical demands, deceitful claims, etc.
- One party signed the contract under duress or poor mental capacity. If you can prove you signed the agreement unwillingly or needed help understanding the terms, the prenup may become invalid.
- One partner did not make a full asset disclosure
A prenuptial agreement can impact your life for years. Therefore, ensure you get proper legal counsel before and during the drafting of your prenup. A good family lawyer draws a customized prenup agreement that considers your wishes as a couple and keeps you updated on the future implications of the contract. At Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers in Scottsdale AZ, we understand the role prenups play in any marriage, which is why we want to help you draft a prenup that will protect all parties.
Having worked on family-related legal cases for over 20 years, you can be confident we have the experience and skills you need to create a prenup that protects you. For more information about our services, you can visit https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/scottsdale/.
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Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers in Scottsdale AZ,
7702 East Doubletree Ranch Road #336 Scottsdale AZ 85258,
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