What Subjects Can Be Addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are certain provisions that exist in a prenuptial, and within these provisions, there are many subjects that are possible to be addressed by both spouses. However, there are other issues that the couple may need to work out without the use of the legal agreement and that are not possible through a prenuptial.

Property in the Marriage

There are several types of property that a person may own. However, through provisions in the prenuptial, it is possible to separate these into individual and marital property. This may include businesses owned by one or the other spouse, holdings, bank accounts, physical property such as houses or cars and other assets that remain outside of and separate from the marriage. Through keeping the items away from the relationship such as providing the spouse with dividends of a business, it may stay as an item or company not touched by the marriage. This may ensure that the business is not sold at the end of the relationship when divorce is inevitable.

Protection from Debt

There are certain debts that a person may accrue before the legal wedding that he or she may retain after the marriage ends. Additionally, if each separate person acquires liabilities that are not part of the couple’s financial matters, they may still remain separate from each other for the duration of the marriage and become the individual’s sole responsibility at the time and after divorce. Then, only the spouse that incurs the debts will need to pay them once the courts dissolve the relationship. Any debts jointly earned may require both parties to pay, however.

Children from Previous Marriages

Children born from a previous marriage may lose out on inheritances if the parent does not make certain provisions to protect the assets from going to them. It is crucial that the conditions are within the prenuptial, so the other spouse is aware that some of the estate will pass to these previous children from another marriage or relationship. In some cases, the spouse may even make financial arrangements for the previous spouse as well to ensure that both mother or father and child receive the necessary monetary support.

Custody and Visitation

Custody within a prenuptial is possible, but these arrangements are usually trickier. To ensure that one parent is able to receive custody or visit the child at certain intervals, the couple may need to double check the state laws repeatedly to keep from violating them. Additionally, the prenuptial usually must remain reasonable with custody either jointly shared or visitation that is fair for both parties. Cutting the child off from one parent is not often supported by the judge when completing the divorce process. Then, he or she may consider the rest of the prenuptial or throw it all out entirely.

Estate Plans and Family Property

Various items that were already in the family may remain in the family such as heirlooms, businesses and inheritances when provisioning the agreement to align with these conditions. The pieces of property may remain with a family member during divorce or death of a spouse. Similarly, the spouse may make provisions to protect an estate plan. The prenuptial is a part of this process to ensure that the estate plan remains as the spouse wants. However, this may require other secured and legal documents such as wills, trusts, living trusts and numerous other papers.

Other Conditions

When creating a prenuptial agreement, the spouse may want to ensure certain conditions. These may include how retirement benefits allocate along with businesses dividends when one or both spouses own a company. Income, tax benefits and claims are often protected in the same manner. Household bills, expenses, join bank accounts and even arrangements with investments and purchases during the marriage may have separate clauses. Savings, credit accounts and property may separate for each spouse. It is also possible to arrange for schooling of either spouse and allocate funds directly for this while taking the funds out of spousal support for possible divorce. Settlements through mediation or arbitration are other conditions the spouse may set.

The Lawyer in Provisions in the Prenuptial Agreement

It is vital that each spouse has a lawyer to ensure that the signature on the agreement is valid and without intimidation, coercion or manipulation. Both spouses must agree to the prenuptial along with all provisions that will exist. There is a full financial disclosure required by both parties for the document to remain valid in the courts.

Provided by HG.org