For any number of reasons, a couple may choose to enter into a contract prior to marriage to deal with issues which may arise at the time of divorce. We call these marriage contracts Prenuptial Agreements, Prenuptial Contracts, Premarital Agreements, or “Pre-Nups.” The content of such a contract may vary greatly depending on the needs and goals of the parties.
Prenuptial agreements make sense for some situation and not others. Below are a few cases in which prenuptial agreements may be considered:
- Establishing a set of rights and duties for property (can be pre-marital property or marital property) and finances obligations
- Own a business
- If either party carries a significant amount of debt
- When one or both parties’ own real estate
- Already or expecting to inheritance
- Having more than $50,000 in assets (excluding real estate)
- Have been previously married or have children from another arrangement
These agreements can be very valuable in streamlining and simplifying the issues in the event of a dissolution and allow parties to agree on their own rules which will govern such issues as property division and characterization. While the subject of a Premarital Agreement may be uncomfortable, these contracts can save one a lot of time and heartache in the event of a divorce / marital dissolution. The law related to Premarital Contracts or Agreements is specific and complex, so it is important for both parties to have knowledgeable counsel in drafting and negotiating the contract.