Marriage is often intended to remain in beautiful existence. When two people decide to get married, it is a decision to blissfully unite their bodies, hearts, and souls. What you’re not being told is the unromantic fact that it also joins your financial assets.
We will be taking this from the legal perspective on prenuptial agreements. The court usually regards properties obtained before and during the time of marriage by either party as marital property (owned jointly by both parties), not minding if the properties were acquired by only one party or both.
This is probably the most uncomfortable topic for any intending couple. It is, however, worthy of serious attention. Nobody enters into a marriage with negative expectations. However, from reality, events and divorce cases recorded overtime make protective preparations a necessity.
It is at this point that the notion of prenuptial agreements comes into consideration. Talking about it may seem daunting or scary, but being open and honest about properties, finances, and your expectations before the wedding, are some of the most beneficial aspects of the marriage process.
What a prenuptial agreement is
A prenuptial agreement is a form of protection for both parties getting married. Basically, such an agreement outlines what marital properties are, and in what manner they would be distributed in the event of a divorce. It protects funds and assets owned by either party prior to the marriage.
Benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement
- It helps in preventing conflict.
- Premarital assets are protected and marital property is evenly defined.
- It prevents splitting of either party’s business(es) into parts in favour of the other spouse in the event of a divorce.
- It protects the financial security of children from a previous marriage.
- It saves a party from inheriting spousal debt.
- prenuptial agreements protect the financial stability of the children as not having a prenuptial agreement may imply that your spouse could be given properties you intended your children to have.
- Divorce settlements are easier and lengthy legal tussle is avoided, thereby, saving the time of the Court and lessening money to be expended by both parties.
Discouraging factors about a prenuptial agreement
Personally, I would never bother about the negative sides or effects of a prenuptial agreement, as I am satisfied with the benefits and would readily consider signing one. However, I’ll need to spell out some of the discouraging facts about considering a prenup to enable us critically weigh our options before venturing into it.
- Spouses who are not very enlightened about the beneficial implications of a prenuptial agreement may regard it to have been brought up as a result of lack of trust towards him or her. Some may even feel you already planned a divorce before the marriage even commenced.
- Some partners use it as a tool to control the party coming into the marriage with lesser assets.
- A prenuptial agreement is never romantic. Proposals accompany good feelings but there’s no better way to sour that blissful moment than bringing up the possibility of a divorce in the future. For some partners, discussing matters like this might put a blemish on exciting times.
- You may forfeit certain entitlements to your spouse’s inheritance.
From the legal perspective on prenuptial agreements, here are some guides.
- Ensure that an individual legal presentation was procured for each party. Lack of experienced counsel may be the reason why the court will not uphold a prenuptial agreement. The law allows you to give up rights in a marriage you are otherwise entitled to by way of contracts. Regardless, the state wants to ensure that you understand the rights you’re giving up.
- Both parties need to have entered into the agreement willingly and without being coerced into it and there should have been enough time allotted to each party to analyze the contract
- Ensure to give adequate and full disclosure of all assets owned. Where this is not done, it becomes a ground for the challenge of validity.
- Finally, never make such agreements oral. Always make sure it is written and signed by both parties.
Where you have assets that may be lost or reduced in the event of a possible divorce, and you intend to have kids to whom you plan these businesses and assets to be conferred on, you may be a good candidate for a prenup.