Prenuptial agreements allow prospective spouses to agree – before marriage – how spousal support, property division, insurance policies, and other financial issues will be handled in the event the marriage ends. You and your prospective spouse can also agree what rights each of you have regarding the property during the marriage.
Some of the issues a prenuptial agreement covers can include:
- Documenting each spouse’s separate property to protect it as separate property
- Determining property distribution to avoid the court possibly deciding on property division
- Assigning debt, such as credit cards, school loans, and mortgages, to the appropriate spouse to avoid having both spouses share debt liabilities equally
Is a prenuptial agreement right for me?
As you anticipate your upcoming marriage, your thoughts are about romantic bliss, not business transactions. The truth is, not every couple planning their wedding is prepared to discuss how they would handle their financial situation if their marriage ends in divorce.
But, if you and your prospective spouse see the value in discussing how property and financial assets and liabilities would be divided in the event of a divorce, then a prenuptial agreement may be the right thing for you. Deciding these issues when you are in love can lead to more equitable agreements than if you are deciding these issues in the midst of emotional turmoil that comes with divorce.
In either case, the decision whether or not to have a prenuptial agreement is a personal one between you and your prospective spouse. However, if you choose to have a prenuptial agreement, it is a legally binding contract and should be done with the help of an attorney.
Can a prenuptial agreement be changed after marriage?
While it can be changed after it goes into effect once you are married, both you and your spouse must agree in writing to the change.