There is a general conception that divorce rates are on the rise. In fact, there seems to be no real statistical evidence to back that up, at least in the last decade. However, whether the rate of divorce is rising or not, it is still quite high, especially in states like ours. Nevada has the dubious distinction of sharing the country’s highest divorce rate (with Maine!). It’s no wonder that many couples are considering a prenuptial agreement. In the event of a break up, a well devised prenup. will certainly cut down potential arguments over assets and alimony after a divorce.
Defining a prenuptial agreement
A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement as it is also called is a legal contract between two people that takes place only when they get married. The agreement becomes null and void if the wedding is called off.
The agreement clarifies the division of assets as well as rights and responsibilities to each other if there is a divorce or death at some point after marriage. The agreement does not necessarily have to be witnessed or notarized like some other legal agreements. Basically, it should be laid out clearly in print and signed by both parties. Despite the fact that it is a legal document which does not need a lawyer to create, it makes sense to have the document drawn up by a family law attorney to ensure that it covers everything which is needed and does not involve any ambiguities that could plague the couple in the event that it is used.
Why use a prenuptial agreement?
When a couple gets married, they may not have equal amounts of property. This is especially the case for instance, when two people get married for a second or third time.
One person may enter the marriage with a disproportionate amount of assets which he or she may want to retain ownership of. Without a prenuptial agreement, any property that the two people bring into the marriage or acquire during the marriage may be assumed to be “community property”. In the event of a divorce, that may mean that if there was a dispute over ownership and there was no chance of an amicable agreement by the two separating partners, that a curt may rule that the assets should be divided in half.
A prenuptial agreement may also help to preserve an inheritance that one of the two getting married had arranged for a child or children of a former marriage. In the event of the death of the biological parent, without a prenuptial agreement the inheritance may not be considered and the joint assets may go to the surviving spouse.
A prenuptial agreement may seem at first sight to suggest that a divorce is likely, but the reverse is just as valid. The fact that a prenuptial agreement has been made makes the arrangement between the two partners, especially the rights and responsibilities of each to each other, clearer and less ambiguous.
What a prenuptial agreement doesn’t cover
A prenuptial agreement cannot be made to cover child custody or child support in the event of a divorce where children are involved. Nevada law ensures that whatever happens to children in terms of custody and support is made in the best interests of the child(ren) according to the situation the couple are in at the time of separation. Any prenup. that tries to lay down rules for children will not be considered valid by a Nevada court.
Other reasons why a prenuptial agreement may not be valid include:
- the agreement not being in writing and signed by both partners;
- when one of the two partners claims that he or she was forced to sign the agreement and did not do so willingly;
- when one or the other partner has not been honest about their assets at the time the agreement was made;
- alimony terms that mean that one of the separating spouses is forced to claim financial help from the state.
A prenuptial agreement is up to you and your intended spouse. If you both decide that it would be in your interests to make such an agreement you are advised to prevent future misunderstanding and obfuscation. Talk to a family law attorney at the Law Offices of Pintar Albiston in Las Vegas, Nevada. It can save time, stress and money for you later in life if things don’t go to plan.
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