What Should I Put In a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a contract. A couple who is planning to marry or join through another type of union agrees to a written contract, a legal document that should be assessed by an experienced attorney before an individual is willing to sign. After all, it is necessary to protect you and your interests in the event of a divorce.
When deciding what to include within a prenuptial agreement, it is important to have a Bucks County family attorney on your side.
Maintenance and Property Division
Spousal maintenance, which is also sometimes referred to as alimony, is often disputed during divorce proceedings. For this reason, it can be beneficial to have maintenance spelled out should a divorce occur. Having this within the prenup will make the divorce proceedings smoother and less expensive.
Similarly, property division can be a point of contention when a couple is dissolving their marriage. When division of property is clearly stated within an agreement, the property can be distributed in the way the couple desires, not in the way a court sees as appropriate. In this way, a person can keep their other assets separate from their property. This could include stocks, inheritance funds, retirement accounts, and more.
Debts can also be dealt with in a premarital agreement. For example, if one person is bringing a lot of student debt into a marriage, a contract could state that the debt will not be the responsibility of the individual who did not initially take on the debt in the event of the marriage ending.
When a marriage ends, a court will uphold a premarital agreement, unless the following can be proven:
- One person did not sign the contract voluntarily.
- Full assets and debts were not disclosed.
- The right to disclose finances was not waived.
- Adequate knowledge was not provided.
Custody Concerns and Other Issues
While individuals may want to include custody concerns within a preputial agreement, it is not typically possible. This is because, in the event of a divorce, a court needs to decide what is in the best interests of the child. To do this, a judge will need review information that is current and premarital agreements could have been signed years prior. In short, parental responsibilities need to be determined by the court.
Other concerns you may want to add depend on the situation. Talk to a Bucks County family attorney to determine what is and what is not possible. Personal issues can be outlined, such as vacation preferences or domestic duties, but they are not necessarily legally binding. The enforcement has to be done within the marriage, in most instances.
Are you interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement? Or, do you want to dispute the terms of an agreement now that you are going through the divorce process? The family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Our dedicated legal team understands the finer points of family law. There are opportunities to create and enforce agreements. Schedule your consultation today, call 215-968-6602.