In the past fifty years, the institution of marriage has changed drastically. What used to be a promise of forever has turned into “until you hurt me one too many times.” As a result of these shifting relationship dynamics, the steps to prepare for marriage have changed as well. The legal paperwork side of marriage used to consist of a marriage license and two witnesses. These days it is prudent to also consider signing a prenuptial agreement before the ceremonies.
Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement
While it may seem unromantic or cynical to enter into a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, many couples find it prudent to prepare for whatever may happen in the future. Prenuptial agreements can prove crucial in the following situations:
- A second marriage later in life when adult children are involved
- A marriage between two financially independent business professionals who potentially own businesses from before the marriage
- A marriage in which one spouse enters with pre-marital debt
What Makes an Effective Prenuptial Agreement?
Whatever the specifics of your situation, it can be a good idea to consult a lawyer in order to find out if a prenuptial agreement is appropriate for you and your future spouse. After the decision has been made, it’s important to keep in mind that not all prenuptial agreements are equally effective.
Here are some facets of effective prenuptial agreements:
- All assets of both parties are fully disclosed
- The agreement is composed in a timely fashion
- The party being asked to sign the agreement is given time to consult an attorney
- Both parties are fully aware of their rights regarding the agreement
It may seem a simple procedure to compose a list of belongings and agree not to take on your spouse’s pre-marital property in case of death or separation, but without taking care to make sure the details are covered, the agreement becomes vulnerable to being challenged in court. To ensure your agreement stands up to challenge, you should work with a lawyer to disclose every asset accurately and present it to your fiancé leaving them enough time before the wedding to consult their own attorney and consider all their options.
If you would like to pursue a prenuptial agreement or you’ve been presented with an agreement by your fiancé, it is crucial that you consult an attorney before taking any action. You need a lawyer who cares about your interests. At The Law Firm for Family Law we welcome your call at (727) 531-8737 to discuss your options. We can schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience.