Usually, when people get married, they don’t give much thought to the possibility of the marriage coming to an end. Though it may seem weird, protecting yourself from an uncertain future before tying the knot is something unmarried couples should strongly consider.
Some people believe that signing a prenuptial agreement is a bad omen and can poke holes in the marriage even before the couple can begin life together. At Boise Family Law, we understand the stigma associated with prenuptial agreements and ready to dispel any false narratives about prenuptial agreements.
Prenuptial agreements help to protect the couple’s individual assets in case of divorce or separation. At Boise Family Law, we recognize the significance of prenuptial agreements to couples who are about to exchange vows. We have qualified and experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers who are ready to help you out. Call 208-504-2837 to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement, or in more modern terms, a premarital agreement is a written contract or agreement between spouses that is signed before marriage. Essentially, a prenup (short for prenuptial) lists each party’s property (as well as any debts) and specifies how assets will be allocated if the couple decides to part ways. In this agreement, a range of topics are covered; They can include:
- Deciphering between joint and separate ownership of property,
- What would happen if the marriage ended because of marital fault,
- What would happen if a spouse was to pass and,
- Detailed rules to the marriage.
Child-related issues cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement because the court is mandated to act in the child’s best interests. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must be executed voluntarily, include full financial disclosure, be fair and just, be notarized, and be signed before the marriage happens.
What Should Our Agreement Include?
Prenuptial agreements are subject to personalization. It is not a case of one-size-fits-all. Remember, every couple is unique and should tailor the terms of their prenuptial agreement to suit their circumstances. Hence, before you write your contract, make sure you consider your social and financial situation. You may also include terms that specify how you will divide your wealth, debts, and assets after a divorce in your prenup. If you own a pet, you can also outline which party will keep the pet if you separate.
In today’s technology-driven world, some couples may decide to include a specific clause that prevents either spouse from publishing derogatory remarks about the other or disclosing intimate details of the divorce on social platforms.
Some other clauses you should consider adding to your prenup include:
- Using alternative dispute resolution (i.e., mediation) to divorce
- How you’ll deal with retirement and business assets
- Whether one partner will continue staying in the marital home, and if so, who will be responsible for paying the taxes, insurance, and mortgage
- Whether either spouse will take on the responsibility of paying for the other’s student loans, and
- Differentiate separate or individual property from marital property.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous, although most people would disagree. While prenups generally protect the assets of a rich fiancé, less wealthy couples are lining up to sign them. Here are some benefits of prenuptial agreements:
- Clarify financial rights: Premarital agreements help couples to specify their financial duties and rights during the marriage.
- Pass separate assets and other property to children from previous marriages: A prenup allows a spouse to pass separate property to children from previous marriages. In the event that one spouse dies and there is no prenuptial agreement, a surviving partner might claim a large portion of the other partner’s property, leaving the kids with much less.
- Easy division of property: Prenuptial agreements specify in advance how assets will be divided and whether or not either partner will get alimony to avoid heated and time-consuming arguments in the event of a divorce.
- Protection from debts: By specifying the terms and conditions of how debts are to be divided, each spouse will be responsible for his or her own debts.
Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?
Your need for a prenuptial agreement depends on where you reside and what you aim to accomplish with the document. For instance, if you reside in a community property state, all assets acquired during your marriage – regardless of the reason for divorce – will be split 50/50 between you and your partner if you separate. Separate property such as inheritances, gifts, and any other property you possessed prior to your marriage will not be split in the divorce, and you will keep your property.
If you reside in a community property state and you’re okay with these general rules, you may not need to go through the process of drafting a prenuptial agreement.
But, if you have specific ideas of how things should be divided after a divorce, you should consider a prenup. Additionally, you may need a prenuptial agreement to ensure you don’t end up paying alimony if you’re sure that neither of you wants to pay spousal support in the event of separation.
Should I Hire A lawyer?
Each state has its own laws regarding premarital agreements. If you aren’t familiar with the prenup laws in your state or are not comfortable with interpreting the laws by yourself, you should hire a lawyer. As a matter of fact, some states may require both of you to have independent lawyers assess the document.
Why Should I Hire A Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer?
Here are reasons hiring a knowledgeable premarital agreement attorney can be a good idea.
Ensures the Agreement Meets All Provisions
For your premarital agreement to be valid, it must satisfy certain conditions. Marriage contract laws vary depending on the state. But some conditions apply in all family law courts regardless of location.
For example, both spouses must disclose the assets they own, income, and financial obligations. Another provision is that both partners be given time to assess the document. Each spouse is also required to get legal advice if they wish before signing.
An experienced prenuptial agreement attorney with knowledge of the state’s laws on premarital contracts can prove to be an invaluable resource in your case. At Boise Family Law, we can assist you in constructing a premarital agreement that outlines your specific provisions while still meeting state requirements.
Helps You Understand What You’re Signing
Sometimes, a premarital agreement may contain provisions that are unfair to one of the spouses. For someone with little knowledge about premarital contracts, navigating and understanding the intricate details of a prenup can prove to be a confusing endeavor. Without an attorney, you may overlook or miss important details.
A Boise Family Law prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you understand the document you are signing and dispel any concerns about misunderstanding or misinterpreting the agreement.
Keep Your Prenuptial Agreement Valid
During a divorce, courts will scrutinize prenuptial contracts closely. While most courts do not require the parties involved to have legal counsel, not having it may create uncertainty for the presiding judge.
Besides, both spouses are required to get independent legal counsel in some states, without which the premarital contract is deemed unenforceable. A prenuptial contract can be rendered invalid due to careless errors and other mistakes in the document. This makes having an experienced prenuptial attorney all the more critical.
Meet Strict Deadlines
States have stringent deadlines for executing a prenuptial agreement that must be adhered to for the agreement to be considered valid. Hiring a prenup lawyer can ensure that all of the procedural requirements are met, including the deadlines.
Even though you are not legally obligated to hire a prenuptial lawyer, getting help from an experienced professional as you draft your prenup can go a long way towards protecting your rights and making the best choices from the onset.
Contact Boise Family Law for Your Initial Consultation
If you are unsure about your marriage’s future or want to protect your assets before saying “I do,” you should speak to a Boise Family Law prenuptial lawyer. Our skilled family law attorneys have in-depth knowledge and experience in family law matters. We can help you make more informed decisions about your future.
Our legal team will assess your situation advise you on the best course of action. To contact Boise Family Law, call 208-504-2837. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you when you need us most.