Marriage will always be a wonderful way to commit yourself to the person you love. It’s a unique commitment that’s always intended to last forever–even though we know that almost half of marriages end in divorce. Therefore, if you are considering marriage, it is important to protect yourself by at least consulting with a lawyer about a prenuptial agreement and the potential benefits for you. These are some important topics that are typically included in a prenup.
Premarital Assets and Debts
The prenup should address assets and debts that belong to the individual spouses prior to the marriage and how those assets and debts will be dealt with after the wedding. In the event that one person has student loan debt, the prenup can address how will be paid down the debt during the marriage.
Inheritance of Children from Previous Relationships
In situations where a spouse dies during the marriage, their spouse usually has the first claim to inheriting their assets. Therefore, if one or both individuals have children from previous relationships, it is important to contemplate whether the children’s potential inheritance should be protected as part of the prenuptial agreement.
Accumulation of Marital Assets and Debts
In all states, assets and debts accumulated during a marriage are considered “marital property” that both spouses have a right to–even if those assets or debts are titled in one person’s individual names. If you would like to keep these future assets and debts that you will accumulate separate, you should address them in the prenuptial agreement.
Financial Marital Responsibilities
Outlining financial responsibilities in your prenup can be a good idea. You can state which spouse files tax returns and which spouse pays the bills. In the prenup, you can also state how to handle bank accounts, including savings accounts. The prenup can also outline how investments are handled and options for obtaining credit.
It is important to outline work expectations in the prenuptial agreement as well. You want to figure out what you will do as a couple if one spouse is transferred to another state. It is also the time to figure out if one parent will be a stay-at-home parent.
Division of Inherited Family Property
The prenup should also cover family property such as an inheritance. A spouse may want to keep the family property on their side to pass on to children or other family members. If that is the case, it should be written into the prenup.
Division of Property in the Event of a Divorce
Most importantly, you should also outline how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. This is especially important for business owners as they may want to continue to control their business after the divorce.
Finding a Family Law Attorney
If you are looking for an attorney to help you draw up a premarital/prenuptial agreement, reach out to us at Mullet Dove & Bradley Family Law, PLLC. We provide services in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC areas. One of the services we provide is Collaborative prenuptial agreements which give couples the opportunity to work together in creating a prenuptial agreement that serves them both. So, contact us today!