These days everyone is concerned about their future. Individuals facing marriage are no different and that is why many people considering marriage look at a prenuptial agreement as a way of preserving their property in case the marriage somehow does not work out. While a “prenup” should not be looked at as foreshadowing a future breakdown (and possible divorce) in a marital relationship, it is many times a necessary “evil” in these uncertain times.
As a Birmingham divorce and family law attorney, I've helped many clients craft their prenuptial agreements based on their own set of personal circumstances. Whether you are a future husband or wife, a big concern for many folks is how even the suggestion of a prenup will affect their relationship heading into marriage. Frankly, if both partners are adults, it should not affect their romantic relationship one bit.
From a legal standpoint, a prenuptial agreement is simply a written document created between the bride and groom prior to the marriage ceremony and exchanging of vows. Like any agreement, the prenup addresses property settlements in the event of divorce — this may or may not include other legal considerations, such as additional obligations that may arise during the marriage.
For couples in Alabama, the law provides for certain required procedures during the creation of the prenup. These include full financial disclosure between the two parties. An important point to make here is that the law in no uncertain terms prohibits a prenuptial agreement if either party has not truthfully represented the facts.
While prenuptial agreements became well known years ago as the wealthy person's prerequisite to marriage, these documents have becomes more and more common among individuals of more modest means. Perhaps even more important for those who have worked so hard for just a modest nest egg or investment property, prenuptial agreements are a means of reassuring the soon-to-be spouses that each party's assets are protected.
Not just a way of preserving one's wealth in the event of a divorce, prenuptial agreements can also be used in the event of death or to establish otherpostnuptial agreements.
Another use for a prenup is when entering into a second marriage. Since an individual may have sizable assets from a previous marriage, creating a prenuptial agreement is a way of retain sole ownership of those assets so that they may be passed onto any children from the first marriage, for example.
As with any legal document — to ensure that a prenuptial agreement is valid and to be sure that both partner's rights are protected — I highly recommend that each party consult with their own separate attorneys prior to entering into the prenup. It may not be the most romantic aspect of marriage, but it could make your future that much more secure.