Premarital agreements or Prenuptial agreements allow couples to clarify their rights to the other person’s property in the event that a marriage ends either by divorce or death. Usually, Premarital Agreements are entered into by parties who have already acquired significant assets prior to the marriage through work or inheritance (or know that they will receive a large inheritance in the future). Premarital Agreements are also a good idea when one or both of the parties has children from a previous marriage to protect or if the couple plans to keep completely separate finances during the marriage.
Things Premarital Agreements Can Do
A premarital agreement can provide an exact formula for how assets will be distributed if a divorce occurs, instead of relying on the court for an equitable property settlement. For example the agreement can state that each party would get exactly 50% of the assets and debt acquired during a marriage.
Spouses can agree that they will not seek division of specific assets, such as an inheritance or retirement accounts.
In the event that you plan to purchase a large asset, such as a marital home, with your separate property, a Premarital Agreement can provide that you are to retain the asset in a divorce.
If you plan to pay your spouse’s way through college or professional school, a premarital agreement can require them to pay you back if they later want a divorce.
In the event that you plan to stop working and stay at home with children, a premarital agreement can require your spouse to make certain payments to you in the event that they seek a divorce or pass away.
If you have children from a previous marriage, it can clarify the amount of your estate that would be passed to those children in the event of your death.
A premarital agreement can protect you from certain of your spouse’s debts.
Premarital Agreement Process
In order for a premarital agreement to be valid, both parties must be making an informed decision. Courts will refuse to enforce any marital agreement if it is not in writing, full disclosure of assets and debts has not been made by both parties, or the agreement is not fundamentally fair. It is best that both parties be advised by counsel who have reviewed the financial disclosures and the agreement.
Speak with a St. Louis Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
If you are considering a premarital or postnuptial agreement or to have the validity of your existing agreement reviewed, contact the St. Charles lawyers of Flesner Wentzel. Call us at 636-442-4529. Consultations are free, and we offer flexible payment plans. Se habla Español.