What to Include in Premarital Agreement

What to Include in Premarital Agreement

Premarital agreements—also called prenuptial agreements or “prenups”—can allow spouses to share important financial information and plan for their future. While prenups are often used to address the terms of a future divorce, they can also serve other purposes.

Financial Matters Covered By Premarital Agreements

Premarital agreements are primarily used to address the impact of a marriage and/or divorce on financial issues. Some issues that you may want to cover in your premarital agreement include the following:

  • How separate property will be treated during the marriage and in a divorce
  • How property acquired during the marriage will be treated by both spouses and in the case of a divorce
  • Whether a dependent spouse has a right to receive alimony or post-separation support, and the terms of any alimony payments
  • What happens to property upon the death of either spouse (estate planning issues)
  • Any other issue relating to the marriage that doesn’t violate public policy

Note that some of these issues are related to how the couple will treat financial matters during the marriage, not just in the case of a divorce. Financial problems are a common cause of marital discord, and a premarital agreement can avoid some of these problems before they happen by clearly stating the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

Who Needs a Prenup?

Any couple that’s about to get married could benefit from a prenup, both some people have more of a need than others. If you have valuable assets or own a business, you may have a stronger need for a prenuptial agreement.

Couples who have significant disparities in their assets or income are also good candidates for prenups. If you have children from a previous marriage, you may want to use a premarital agreement to clarify which pieces of property you’d like to set aside for your children. A premarital agreement can be part of your estate plan to avoid any conflicts between your new spouse and your children.

Prenuptial agreements are an effective tool for settling financial issues that arise during a marriage or divorce, but they need to be carefully drafted to address your unique circumstances. If you are considering signing or creating a premarital agreement, discuss your financial situation with a family law attorney.

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