Steps to Take Before Signing a Prenuptial Agreement in Birmingham, Shelby, And Nearby Counties
Discussing a prenuptial agreement can sound unromantic. It may feel like you are focusing on money instead of love. But truthfully, a prenup is simply a plan for the future – and often a back-up plan. Experienced Alabama family law attorneys help couples devise strategies for the future that they can put away forever or implement when they need it.
There is no need to assume your marriage will end up in divorce because you discuss your future and determine a financial strategy in case the worst happens. For high-net worth marriages, a prenup is crucial in protecting an individual's or family's assets. For people entering into marriage later in life and with established careers, this contract helps them remain financially independent even as they combine their lives. Prenups can also be used to ensure one person does not have to take on the other's debts.
There are many benefits to prenups, but before you sign a contract with your fiancé, you should:
Seek Your Own Legal Counsel
Each individual should have his or her own attorney. This ensures a fair agreement that does not take advantage of one person's wealth or an individual's lack of legal and financial knowledge. You need to be aware of your rights and what happens if you sign them away in this contract.
Your attorney will advise you on what can and cannot be controlled in prenup under state law. For instance, you can decide how assets and debts will be divided in the case of a divorce. You cannot limit one parent's rights to parental responsibilities or time.
Additionally, each person having their own family law attorney is evidence that no one was coerced into signing the document. This supports upholding the document during a divorce if someone questions its validity.
Review the Finances with an Accountant
The property division and monetary figures in a prenup are based on both individual's current finances and potential earnings. It is smart to look over your fiancé's finances with an accountant to ensure there has been full disclosure. In some cases, prenup discussions bring to light hidden assets or debts – something an experienced accountant may notice in financial documents.
It is also important to learn about the tax ramifications of the potential settlement. An accountant will help you understand how the property and assets you would acquire in a divorce would potentially affect your tax liability.
Communicate With Your Partner
Once a couple has agreed to a prenup, the real work begins. If one or both of you have not openly discussed your current finances and plans for the future, now is the time to start. Whether you believe in commingling funds or keeping separate accounts, you and your partner should be fully aware of each other's financial situations. You should be open to talking about different options, such as buying property together or separately, how to handle paying the bills, and what to do about retirement.
A prenup can be the perfect place to build a marriage on trust and communication. If you and your partner want to learn more about prenuptial agreements, contact the experienced Alabama family law attorneys Eversole Law, LLC.