Prenuptial agreements are an opportunity to discuss one’s financial situation prior to getting married. These legal documents are beneficial for every couple before entering a marriage, but three specific situations when a prenuptial agreement is an absolute must include:
- Significant wealth. Individuals of significant wealth can benefit from a prenuptial agreement whether the wealth is from one’s family, an inheritance or business interests. A well-crafted prenuptial agreement can outline exactly how the evolution of a marriage or potential divorce would impact these assets. Depending on the form of wealth it may be beneficial to accompany this document with a trust. An attorney experienced in these matters can review the situation and provide guidance to better ensure the asset remains separate from marital property — thus not subject to division in the event of a divorce.
- Later in life marriage. Getting married in your early twenties is much different than getting married in your thirties, forties or beyond. You and your partner have had time to accumulate assets. Discuss these assets and liabilities prior to entering the marriage and craft a prenuptial agreement to specifically state if any of the assets or liabilities are to remain the property of one individual as opposed to marital property.
- Children from previous relationships. You can tailor a prenuptial agreement to meet a number of goals. One example: ensure children receive intended assets in the event of a divorce. Without this document, assets previously set aside for the children could deemed marital property and subject to division during a divorce.
It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are creatures of state law. The document must meet specific criteria to survive a legal challenge. An attorney experienced in drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements can discuss these criteria and craft a document to meet your needs.