Should you sign, a pre or post nuptial agreement? Sometimes this is referred to as a pre or post martial agreement as well.
Couples are getting married later in life meaning they come to marriage with assets. Assets can be anything from accumulated wealth, retirement accounts, inheritance and separate business issues.
There is also the possibility of children from a previous marriage or relationship to consider when getting married.
Couples marry for love, but marriage is a contract legal arrangement in the eyes of the law. Therefore, we should not be naïve to believe that love conquers all.
In fact, at least half of the time it does not. Take advantage of the love and plan your “marriage insurance” or your “exit strategy” while you are in love.
The battle couples face through divorce can be resolved by creating a contract before marriage or even after the marriage if financial matters are going to change.
Some of the stories that made my clients wish they had a pre-nuptial agreement include:
-The story of how one partner supported the other throughout the marriage and left without proper payment or consideration of everything “given to the marriage” in the end.
-The story of one partner caring for the kids and the other partner arguing that he doesn’t deserve anything for that type of support.
These stories are common in my divorce conversations, and I’ve advised clients through the change in financial circumstances that don’t accurately reflect the financial situation appreciated during the marriage. But we are bound by the law.
Another issue is Inheritance. It’s supposed to be separate from marital assets, but once a client co-mingles the funds by putting them into a joint account or re-titles inherited assets jointly, the situation changes.
All of these considerations and much more will be resolved by entering into with a contractual agreement before or during the marriage.
A Pre-nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement can answer these questions:
- Who invested how much into what you have?
- What should you consider marital assets or separate property?
- Who should pay what percentage of taxes if not filing jointly?
Notes and tips about Pre-Marital and Post-Marital agreements….
- Both pre-marital and post-marital agreements require that both parties disclose their individual and/or joint financial worth.
- You can only determine financial interests in these agreements, not parenting issues or the punitive provisions often part of the equation after the fact.
- Make sure you have counsel with litigation and contract experience draft the agreement or at least review it for loopholes.
- Make sure no one is coerced into signing the agreement. The pre-nup put in front of soon to be wife or husband a day before the wedding will not likely to be upheld or enforced.
- Make sure both parties have separate counsel to advise and negotiate the terms of the agreement.
The financial aspects of the divorce become less complicated or contested if you follow this advice. Plus, you can walk away from the marriage knowing that you agreed to the terms when you were, in fact, in love.
No matter how in love you are today, think about your future and the what ifs of tomorrow. Put the pen to paper and contract the I wills before vowing I do.
Please call us at 720-722-0776 or Email Us If you have any questions
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