Winter can be a romantic time for couples and it is not uncommon to get engaged over Christmas or the New Year holiday. While you have plenty of time to plan for a 2014 or 2015 wedding, now is also the time to start considering your legal and financial commitment to your future spouse. In addition to asking the right questions and getting on the same page regarding your goals, you may also want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” can be beneficial to both breadwinners and dependent spouses or couples with a joint income, to ensure you are both in agreement about your assets before you tie the knot.
Most couples would agree that a prenuptial agreement is not the most romantic part of wedding planning, but it is important. It is especially important for couples who have significant assets or who have children from a prior marriage; however, a prenuptial can benefit any couple that wants to clearly define their rights and obligations in the event of divorce. Our Birmingham divorce attorneysknow the importance of transparency, especially during the wedding planning process. We provide strategic counsel to individuals in drafting, reviewing and signing prenuptial agreements.
If you don't know what a prenuptial is, consider it a contract between you and your spouse that outlines agreeable terms for how property will be divided in the event of divorce. While you probably don't ever expect to divorce or plan for divorce, there is no reason not to consider the possibility, especially since the divorce rate still hovers around 50%. A prenuptial negotiation and agreement can provide an important platform for you to discuss important financial matters, including how to divide personal or real estate property, whether one spouse will collect support and how much, as well as provide an arrangement in the division of business assets.
Though you cannot make determinations regarding child support or child custody, you can make sure that children from a prior marriage still protect their inheritance. This is a key issue for many couples who are entering a second or third marriage. Again, older couples who have significant assets in 401ks or retirement funds can also address how this property should be divided in the event of divorce.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, remember that Alabama has specific state laws regarding how to validate a prenuptial agreement. No contract can be forced and both parties must fully expose assets and debts before entering into a contract. Even if you think that a prenuptial is unromantic, you also want to know that you are on the same page as your soon-to-be husband or wife. If your potential spouse is angry or has wildly different expectations about your assets, you may want to reconsider your engagement. You should also take time to discuss the contract, review your rights and obligations with your own attorney and make sure you are both comfortable before signing. If a court finds that the contract was rushed or signed under duress, it will be unenforceable.
Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.