Couples often create marital agreements to determine the rights and responsibilities of each partner should the marriage end. For some, planning how their estate will be handled before they are married is the best option. Others may not even think about sorting through their assets together until after they have been married for months or years.
What is the main difference between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement? Do you and your partner need one? Which is right for your situation?
A prenuptial agreement is created before the marital union. This type of agreement determines how a couple will divide assets and/or debts in the event their marriage comes to an end. When creating a prenuptial agreement, it’s wise to make sure it is clear, understandable, and legally sound. If a court detects any hint of illegal or immoral provisions, it may rule the prenuptial agreement invalid.
A valid prenuptial agreement could include:
- separate vs. marital property;
- saving and/or spending strategies;
- financial obligations of both parties during the marriage;
- debt liability;
- estate plans;
- the property of children from a previous marriage;
- alimony plans; and
- property division.
In order for the court to rule a prenuptial agreement invalid, at least one of the elements below must be present:
- the agreement is determined to be fraudulent;
- the agreement was signed under duress;
- a party was forced to sign the agreement at a reduced mental capacity;
- lack of proper legal representation; and/or
- the paperwork was improperly prepared or filed.
As a binding legal contract, it’s imperative your prenuptial agreement is prepared by an experienced attorney.
Some people believe that if they didn’t enter into an agreement before they were married, they can never attempt this type of legal contract again. However, married couples can still write up a marital agreement; doing so is referring to as a postnuptial agreement.
Reasons a couple may decide to form a postnuptial agreement include:
- revisions to a prenuptial agreement;
- considering a divorce or legal separation;
- ensuring children from previous relationships are entitled to certain inheritable assets;
- protecting one spouse from the substantial debt of the other;
- if one spouse decides to stop working to take care of the home and/or raise children; or
- to clearly define each party’s wishes for assets.
When drawing up a postnuptial agreement, it is recommended that the couple use the same attorney. The reasoning behind this is because once you are married your assets are joined together. A single attorney for the pair of you will make it easier for you and your spouse to discuss and draw up an exceptional contract.
Get in Touch with Rech Law, P.C. Today
Our attorneys are advocates for families and we will do everything we can to ensure you and your (future) spouse draw up the most concise and valid pre- or postnuptial agreement.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (704) 659-0007 for a legal consultation.