Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

The term prenuptial agreement is one that most adults hear in connection with the marriage or divorce of a celebrity or a person with substantial financial resources. While prenuptial agreements were once not something a middle-class couple would consider, the increased number of adults waiting to marry until after they are established financially has changed that.  Couples who are older, have children from a previous relationship, or own a business are now more likely to consider creating a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married. Asking yourself a few key questions can help you determine if you need a prenuptial agreement.

Are You Working Toward Something Profitable?

It is not unusual for a person who has not yet established the success he or she wants to disregard any suggestions regarding obtaining a prenuptial agreement. However, if you have been working towards a business or invention for a long time it is a good idea to protect your future profits.  While you may not have the resources yet, an agreement can protect you in the future if you later decide to divorce. Forgoing an agreement could lead to a situation in the future in which you are forced to share profits from your business because while you started working on it several years before getting married, no money was earned until after you married.

Do You Have Children?

The number of people who remarry in the United States after one divorce has increased, but unfortunately, a person who has gotten a divorce once has a greater chance of subsequent marriages ending in divorce. After spending a lifetime amassing property and establishing financial security for children from a previous marriage, no one wants to risk losing assets intended for children through divorce. A prenuptial agreement gives you more control over the amount of money a future spouse can receive if your marriage ends, allowing you to protect certain property and intangible assets from being lost during a divorce.

Is Your Future Spouse in Debt?

Prenuptial agreements can do more than protect property and money. It is possible to use an agreement to protect yourself from creditors if your future spouse has a large amount of debt.  Creating a legal agreement that keeps debt separate is a way to avoid being held responsible for debt that your spouse acquired after the divorce is finalized. Limiting your debt liability prior to marriage can preserve your credit and keep certain marital properties safe from your spouse’s creditors.

Contact an Attorney

The idea of planning for a divorce prior to getting married is not pleasant, but it is practical. If you or someone close to you is getting married and are worried about future financial repercussions, contact an attorney. Talking to a prenuptial agreement attorney is a good way to find out if obtaining an agreement prior to marriage is something that will benefit you. The attorneys at Lawrence Law Office are able to assist you with creating a valid agreement.  We can answer your questions and help you decide the best way to secure your assets. Contact our conveniently located Columbus, Ohio location today to schedule a consultation.

Validity of Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements have been in existence for decades, but always seem to get the most attention from the outlandish clauses rumored to be in certain wealthy individuals’ agreements. From infidelity clauses to shopping budgets, to the more standard child support and asset distribution language, every prenuptial agreement differs. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple, that becomes effective upon the event of marriage.

How to Make a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

While not every couple finds that they need to enter into a prenuptial agreement, there are many benefits to doing so. Not only are assets and debts put on the table to be discussed prior to entering into a legal contract that integrates a majority of the couple’s property, but the couple is able to sort out any differences or misunderstandings they may have about either debts of one party or assets of one party. Many couples who come into a marriage with rights to a family business or assets they seek to ensure, commonly at the direction of the family, that will not become either shared or sole ownership of the other spouse in the event of a dissolution of the marriage.

In Ohio, to have a valid prenuptial agreement, both parties must disclose all of the property they own prior to signing the agreement, in order to ensure both are fully informed. In addition to listing assets, both must list any debts they are bringing to the marriage. Although having an attorney draft or review the agreement is not legally mandatory, it gives the notion of separate and uninfluenced decision making by each party. If you and your spouse do decide to enlist the assistance of an attorney, make sure it is not the same attorney or any two that have a common interest. Once the contract’s terms have been agreed upon, each spouse must sign the agreement in the presence of the other, along with two witnesses.

Another way prenuptial agreements get a bad reputation is by one spouse presenting a contract to the other a week or even a day before the marriage, wanting them to sign it immediately. This kind of behavior can render the contract unenforceable in court. The more time that is given for the parties to discuss, amend, and come to agreement, the more likely the court is going to find the document to be enforceable.

Considering a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements can be a useful tool for a couple and can help sort out a number of issues regarding assets and debt. If you or someone you know is considering signing a prenuptial agreement, call the experienced legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at (614) 228 – 3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or lawrence@lawrencelawoffice.com.

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