For many couples, the engagement, wedding and honeymoon phase are the best part of the marriage. Any doubts are overshadowed by the excitement of being in love, sharing that joy with family members and planning for the future. While a pre-marital contract is certainly not the most romantic aspect of preparing for marriage, it is the most practical and can be the best way to protect yourself and make your intentions known.
Before you make the decision to marry, there are certain areas of discussion that should be explored. Will you raise your children with religion? What religion? Do you want children at all? What are your expectations for financial contributions in the marriage? Do you own property? Do you have debt? While all of these questions are important for any couple considering marriage, they can be especially important if you are entering the marriage with assets or property. Our Birmingham prenuptial contract lawyers know that marriage can get complicated. A pre-nuptial agreement is an invaluable document that can help you clarify your rights and obligations in the unfortunate event of divorce.
Statistically, over 50% of marriages will end in divorce, but how many of those couples plan for their obligations after that divorce? While you don't necessarily want to look at your marriage like a business, you should consider the reality that you are forming a legal union the same way that a partnership or corporation is formed. No responsible business owner would enter a legal agreement without a contract—so why should you?
Most couples do not realize that once you get past the sometimes awkward nature of initially discussing the agreement, it is a beneficial way to explore your ideas with your partner and to protect your rights in the future. A prenuptial agreement, otherwise known as a “prenup,” can be very beneficial in a number of ways. While every couple can benefit from a pre-marital agreement there are some instances that make a contract more worthwhile.
If you have had children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement will ensure that your children and grandchildren get exactly what you want to pass down in the event of divorce. If you own property and you are benefiting from an improving financial real estate market, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that those assets remain in your name. In general, devising a prenuptial agreement can help you to protect your interests and make sure you and your future spouse are in agreement about how assets should be divided.
Prenuptial agreements are primarily concerned with the division of property and assets. This means that you cannot designate custody agreements or child support agreements. You can specify who gets what personal property, real estate, how retirement accounts should be divided and how you want to arrange any spousal support. Both parties should have independent counsel when creating a prenuptial agreement.
The law has very specific guidelines when creating an enforceable prenuptial agreement, so it is important to consult with a trusted attorney about your individual case and objectives. Primarily, your attorney will focus on full disclosure, informing you of your rights, and creating a binding document that clearly states your rights and obligations.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.