- Why Do You Need A Prenup?
- Who Needs A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement?
- What Does A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement Do?
- What Is The Difference Between A Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreement?
- Do I Need A Lawyer To Sign/Draft A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
Family law attorneys are in a unique position to see couples at some of their lowest points, their relationship has fizzled out or collapsed, and now both parties are struggling to move forward…or trying to drag the other down with them.
While everyone wants to be a romantic at heart, and lay down trust as the only foundation for a marriage’s success, the truth is, people and circumstances change. When they do, it pays to be prepared and protected.
What Is A Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” is a legal contract that two individuals enter into prior to their marriage. Its primary function is to stipulate the division and management of assets, debts, and financial responsibilities in the eventuality of a divorce, separation, or death. Often perceived as a tool reserved for the wealthy, a prenup’s value is far more widespread. It serves as a financial planning tool that can provide both parties with clarity about their individual and shared financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage.
By setting clear financial parameters, prenups can help alleviate potential sources of tension, ensuring that both partners enter the marriage with a transparent understanding of their fiscal landscape. Beyond protecting individual assets acquired before marriage, these agreements can also outline terms for assets accumulated during the union, spousal support expectations, and the handling of potential inheritances or gifts.
In essence, while love and trust are vital cornerstones of any marriage, a prenup provides a pragmatic approach to the financial aspect of marital life, safeguarding both parties from unforeseen circumstances.
What Happens If You Don’t Have A Prenup?
In the absence of a prenup, the fate of a couple’s assets and liabilities falls under the jurisdiction of state or regional marital laws during a divorce. The process, which varies widely depending on location, typically categorizes assets acquired during the union as “marital” or “community” property. These assets, regardless of who earned or purchased them, are often divided equally or equitably between the spouses upon divorce.
Assets and properties obtained before marriage usually remain with their original owner, but this isn’t always straightforward. For instance, if one party owned a home before marriage that became the couple’s primary residence, the appreciation of that home’s value during the marriage could be considered marital property. Additionally, the absence of a prenup can result in prolonged and contentious divorce proceedings, with both parties incurring substantial legal fees.
While no couple enters a marriage expecting it to end, unforeseen changes in circumstances or feelings can lead to divorce. Without a prenup, this dissolution might result in unanticipated financial ramifications, leaving individuals feeling vulnerable and potentially aggrieved by the state’s division of their assets.
Why Do You Need A Prenup?
A strong prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, drafted with the help of a qualified family law attorney, will give you both personal security and long-term visibility, on any eventual end to your marriage.
Who Needs A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement?
Popular perception places prenuptial agreements in the hands of only the wealthiest of couples, where one partner is afraid of being taken advantage of. The truth, however, is that an ordinary couple can benefit just as much, if not far more, from a well-drafted marriage agreement.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements serve, first and foremost, to provide clarity. By understanding exactly what happens should the marriage end in a divorce (or should one partner pass away) they offer security and stability in some of the most vulnerable and uncertain times of your life.
What Does A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement Do?
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements, sometimes called marriage contracts, or just marriage agreements, serve to determine, in advance, what happens to certain assets should the marriage come to an end.
While some of these assets may be from before the marriage, these agreements can also include provisions for assets or wealth acquired during the marriage. As each couple is different, so too will be their prenup or postnup, though there are certainly some things that cannot be settled in advance via prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Child support, and child custody, most notably, cannot be determined by a pre or post-nuptial agreement. In the eyes of the court, the interest of any children and their future is more important and has to be determined at the time of an eventual divorce or death.
What Is The Difference Between A Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreement?
The only difference between the two types of marriage agreements is when they are signed by the couple. A prenuptial agreement is signed before getting married, while a postnuptial agreement can be signed at any time by the married couple before they get divorced.
This means that even if you are already married without a prenuptial agreement, or simply wish to change, modify or make a new one, it is not too late to get in touch with an experienced family law attorney near you to get started.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Sign/Draft A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
While you hope a marriage agreement will never need to come into effect, you should always be sure to know exactly what you are signing before doing so. Consulting with qualified and specialized will allow you to be certain you understand the contract.
Furthermore, should you be considering getting one, having a lawyer on your side means being able to securely and transparently design it according to your and your loved one’s wishes, or negotiate in your favor should there be any disagreement.
- How To Handle Common Financial Issues That Arise During A Divorce In Maryland
- Answers To Your Most Common Questions About The Distribution Of Assets During Divorce
- Everything You Need To Know About Divorce As A Non-Working Spouse
- How To Prepare For Divorce In Maryland
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Annapolis, or anywhere in Maryland, Greenberg Legal Group LLC will proudly put our expertise and personalized attention at your service to make sure your marriage is built on strong foundations of clarity, security, and certainty.