Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements carry with them numerous negative connotations. Many people are reluctant to present a Prenuptial Agreement to their partner because they believe that these agreements indicate a lack of trust. However, these Agreements are appropriate and necessary in many cases. They actually serve to alleviate mistrust and suspicion in your future which is essential to a happy marriage.
What is a Prenuptial /Postnuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also commonly referred to as a “prenup”, is a contract between couples whom are not yet married. Postnuptial Agreements can also function in much the same way. However, it is better to enter into a prenup, rather than a postnup for various legal reasons. These documents both serve to ensure that both spouses retain ownership of the assets they brought into the marriage. It also establishes which assets will be jointly owned and which will remain solely theirs throughout the marriage in the event the marriage ends.
A prenuptial agreement includes:
- Full disclosure of assets owned by each party before marriage
- Agreement as to how joint property which is acquired after marriage will be divided in the event of divorce or death
- The allocation of debt responsibility in the event of divorce or death
- Considerations for the division of assets in the event either of the spouses has a business pre and post marriage.
- Alimony and allocation of other assets via Marital Property award in the event of Divorce
Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is meant for anyone who has, or expects to acquire, any assets they want to protect from claim by the other spouse in the event of divorce or death. There are some specific circumstances that may lend themselves well to these agreements. For example, people who have pre-marital assets, own their own businesses, have children from previous relationships, or people who want to use their assets for specific purposes in the future. This can also be beneficial when people want to avoid taking on the debts of their spouse currently or in the future. Many other issues can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are very common for couples who have children from previous marriages and who would like to ensure that their inheritance remains as intended. Though no one gets married intending to get a divorce, these things do happen, and when they do, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Like any legal document, a prenuptial agreement is only as useful as it is legal. Thus, drafting the document with a lawyer involved will ensure that the document is viable in a Maryland court. Without the legal knowledge required, your prenuptial agreement may not be valid and may not be enforceable in Court in the event that you get divorced, which will spell disaster for your future. It is important to have peace of mind that the prenuptial agreement is legal and properly constructed by legal counsel.