When you are very much in love and about to become a spouse, there may be a tricky issue to negotiate regarding a prenuptial agreement. Often defenses are raised and fear and distrust can breed. However, it can help if you remember the purpose of a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial Agreement Definition
Entered into before marriage a prenuptial agreement sets forth what will happen to the assets of you and your spouse should you decide to separate, divorce or should one of you pass away. It can also preserve the nature of property when a marriage is terminated. So separate property remains separate as opposed to being subjected to equitable distribution laws or being deemed community property.
Increasingly popular, prenuptial agreements help people when they have, for example, focused on their careers prior to a delayed marriage. So often, both parties have assets they want to protect before entering into a marriage contract. Prenuptial agreements are also a frequently chosen option when one partner has children from a previous marriage. This agreement makes sure the separate property of a spouse goes to their own children as they intended.
Very often the greatest area of contention in the divorce process is regarding how money and property should be divided. Prenuptial agreements are popular with couples who do not want a court to decide on the distribution of assets should the marriage come to an end. This is a case where the forward planning of a prenuptial agreement can save a great deal of heartache further down the road. Prenuptial agreements can also help in the following ways:
- You can protect the assets you gathered before your marriage and specify what you want to do with them. For example, donate to a charity or pass them along to your children.
- Finances can be taken care of. So you can specify whose debt is whose and what will be shared and what will belong to the individual.
- Assets and financial details can be managed by having a prenuptial agreement that states who handles those details.
- The rights of a spouse to your retirement plan can be waived by a prenuptial agreement so there can be a different beneficiary.
- When there is a large financial disparity in a relationship, a prenuptial agreement can work as a safeguard by controlling asset distribution brought into the relationship.
What is the Purpose of a Prenup?
Ultimately a prenup gives the right for individuals to decide how to manage their assets before marriage. It is more than just a case of not trusting your partner. It is about respecting what your future spouse has and giving them the ability to decide what they want to do with their assets.
“Definition of a Prenuptial Agreement.” Legalzoom.com, 20 Feb. 2015, www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/prenuptial-agreement/topic/prenuptial-definition.