If you are planning to marry, you may have considered entering into a Prenuptial Agreement with your soon-to-be spouse. A Prenuptial Agreement will identify your pre-marital assets and protect them in the event of divorce. It can also establish terms for alimony and distribution of assets and debts at the time of divorce. Or, if you are already married, you may agree to enter into a Postnuptial Agreement to memorialize to address how finances/assets are handled during your marriage or in the event of your divorce. Or, if you have separated and plan to reconcile the marriage, a Reconciliation Agreement that specifies the conditions of your reconciliation may be useful.
Prenuptial Agreements can be used to:
- Identify the property that will be shared between the spouses.
- Declare how property will be divided between the spouses.
- Clarify payments that will be made for alimony, support, and maintenance should the marriage end.
- Describe the wills of the spouses and what provisions will be included.
- In addition, a Prenuptial Agreement can be structured to protect the parties from each other’s debts. Without a Prenuptial Agreement, creditors may be able to turn to marital property to satisfy the debts of just one spouse.
- A Prenuptial can also be helpful if either party has children from another relationship so that the parties can ensure that their children inherit their share of property.
- If you have property that you would like to keep in your family, such as a treasured heirloom or a share in a family vacation home, you and your spouse can agree in a prenuptial that it will remain in your family. This can also apply to property that you expect to receive in a future inheritance.
- Without a valid Prenuptial Agreement, in the event of a divorce you will be subject to state law regarding alimony and division of property. In a Prenuptial Agreement you can make your own set of rules for property division and minimize or avoid disagreements in the event of a divorce.
- There are countless other matters which can be addressed in prenuptial agreements including the following:
- Who will pay the bills.
- Whether to have joint bank accounts and who will manage them.
- How to handle credit card charges.
- Agreements on setting aside money for savings.
- Agreements for putting each other through professional school.
- Whether to file joint or separate income tax returns and how to handle tax deductions.
The Charleston attorneys at Bleecker Family Law are experienced in family law and have years of experience in drafting Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements.