What is a Prenuptial Agreement and Should I Sign One?
If marriage is in your near future, you may be wondering: what is a prenuptial agreement and should I sign one? A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup”) is a contract that a couple enters before marriage. It contains details about assets and property rights of each person should the marriage end in divorce. While each state has either equitable distribution or community property laws, a prenuptial agreement can override these laws in the event that the couple looking to marry ever gets divorced.
Prenuptial agreements are often seen as unromantic or even cruel, carrying with them the weight of divorce before even entering into the social contract of marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement can certainly be helpful in the event of a separation. In modern society, a large number of marriages end in divorce as either spouse can change or make terrible decisions, and as such, prenuptial agreements can be useful for many people who enter into a marriage and yet are still interested in protecting their assets.
Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?
If you’re coming into a marriage with children, a business or a significant amount of assets, you should consider a prenuptial agreement. It protects your financial future and the future of loved ones, especially if you are getting married at an older age. Should you get divorced, you could end up with nothing in retirement. Everything that you worked so hard to achieve could be gone in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement protects your assets while avoiding surprises.
Prenuptial agreements have requirements and limitations, however. You will be required to disclose all your assets. If you hide any, the prenuptial agreement could be deemed null and void. You must also give your significant other time to review the prenuptial agreement. He or she may want to discuss it with a lawyer. You should never force your future spouse to sign an agreement hours before the wedding, as this situation could provide grounds for the prenuptial agreement to be void or at least coerced.
Prenuptial agreements protect assets in a variety of ways, but there are things they cannot do. They cannot be used to avoid child support or hash out custody arrangements. They also cannot promote divorce. A prenup (prenuptial agreement) with any of these details will be thrown out in court.
Who Does Not Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenup offers many benefits, but it is not needed in all marriages. In reality, it does not always make sense for a young couple getting married for the first time to get one, as they may not have many possessions yet that require protection. In addition, those fresh out of school typically do not have much and don’t need to protect any assets. However, if there is an unequal balance of assets, then a prenup may be ideal. If someone comes into a marriage with an inheritance, for example, or children from a previous relationship, it may be wise to discuss a prenuptial agreement, regardless of the person’s age.
Contact a Georgia Family Law Attorney
If you are about to get married, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. Such an agreement can be beneficial for many parties, but if you don’t consider one, you could be losing out in the event of a divorce. Let the team at Mitchell & Crunk help you understand your options and make sure your rights are protected. Contact us today at (770) 809-3757 for a free phone consultation.