Of all the marriage proposals that will take place during a year, about a third of them will happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Since the holidays are such an incredibly popular time to get engaged, our family attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this week’s blog to discussing an important step engaged couples may choose to take – building a prenuptial agreement. If you and your significant other have just agreed to say “I do,” you may want to set aside some time in 2017 to work on putting one of these important documents together.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (also called a “prenup” or a “premarital agreement”) is an agreement engaged couples can put together that will serve as a reference guide down the road. It can be used as a precursor to an estate plan, and it can also be used to set some basic guidelines for how certain property and assets may be distributed in the event of a future divorce. While you may understandably not wish to think about divorce after just getting engaged, life remains unpredictable. Should you and your future spouse eventually develop irreconcilable differences, a premarital agreement may become worth its weight in gold.
Why Should I Build A Premarital Agreement?
If you are on the fence about whether or not you should put together a premarital agreement, our family lawyer in Lebanon MO is here to help you weigh the pros and cons. Here are a few reasons why having a premarital agreement may be beneficial:
1. One of you has significantly greater wealth.
If you or your partner is entering the marriage with significantly greater wealth, you may wish to establish a prenuptial agreement to protect those assets. You can use your prenup to dictate how those preexisting assets may be distributed in the event that a divorce should occur. Without this agreement in place, the funds may be distributed equitably between you and your partner. (The flip-side of this is also true – if you are significantly poorer than your future spouse, you can use your prenup to ensure you will be financially protected in the event of a divorce.)
2. One of you has children from a previous marriage/relationship.
Typically, married couples plan for their spouses to inherit all of their assets upon their passing. If one of you has one or more children from a prior marriage, however, providing for these children may become your first priority. You can use your premarital agreement to ensure that your children will get first access to your assets.
3. One of you has significantly greater debt.
Like assets, debts are divided equitably between spouses during a divorce. Whether it is credit card debt, student loan debt, an expensive vehicle loan, or an additional mortgage, you may become partially responsible for your spouse’s debts upon entering your marriage. Without a prenup in place, you may still be held partially responsible for these debts even if you eventually separate.
4. One of you owns a business.
As a business owner, your company is your livelihood. If you end up getting divorced, having to share your company’s profits with your ex-spouse may be the last thing you want to do. Without a proper prenuptial agreement in place, however, your ex-spouse may end up retaining some level of ownership in your company after your divorce.
Deputy & Mizell Can Help You Build A Premarital Agreement
If you are one of the hundreds of people getting engaged this holiday season, we hope you will schedule a time to meet with us in 2017 to begin building a premarital agreement for you and your future spouse. Hopefully your marriage will be long, happy, and successful, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Our family attorneys in Tuscumbia MO can help you build a comprehensive premarital agreement that will protect both of your interests.
Call 1-877-532-2191 to schedule your free initial consultation.