When marriages don't work, emotions run high. The disappointment, heartache, frustration, and even anger that follows can make the legal dissolution of a marriage quite difficult. That is why prenuptial agreements can be extremely helpful in such instances.
The lawyers at our Polk County, FL law firm have assisted numerous individuals and couples in the drafting of prenups. These contracts can be confusing and intimidating for people who do not understand how they work. Let's cover some of the basics that go into drafting a prenuptial agreement.
How Prenuptial Agreements Work
A prenuptial is a type of legal contract created by spouses prior to getting married. The prenup is an agreement between the spouses about what should happen in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse.
Most people associated prenups with wealthy couples, but these can be helpful for married couples from all income levels. These arrangements ought to be considered if you hold a lot of debt, own a business, own property, or have children from a previous marriage.
Contents of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements typically contain the following:
- Provisions for division of property
- Arrangements for spousal support
- Conditions for guardianship or custody of children
- Grounds for forfeiture of assets (e.g., adultery)
Essentially, a prenup allows each spouse to protect their interests at the end of a marriage. This includes protecting their financial future since certain debts from another spouse can be avoid being incurred thanks to an airtight prenup.
Two Lawyers Should Be Involved
While it might make sense on its surface to work with a single attorney for a prenup, it's really most ideal for each spouse to hire their own attorney. A single attorney will not necessarily be able to arrange a fair deal for each spouse. By having two attorneys, the arrangements of a prenuptial agreement can be more objective and mutually beneficial. There is room to negotiate with tact and fairness.
Take Time to Work Out the Details
Don't rush yourselves while drafting your prenuptial agreement. Make sure that you are comfortable with all matters laid out in the agreement before it is completed and signed. You do not want to have any regrets about the language and stipulations of your prenup.
Consider Any Issues Related to Previous Marriage
If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenup can help you specify matters involving custody, child support, visitation, and so forth. Matters of child inheritance and college education can similarly be covered in a prenup.
Don't Let Your Emotions Cloud Your Judgement
It's easy to get swept up in the romance of a marriage, so much so that these practical financial matters are never discussed. Be sure to maintain some pragmatism about your marriage and draft a prenuptial agreement. Better to agree with your spouse on the terms of divorce well before it even happens than to get into countless disputes about the terms of divorce when the matter arises.