A prenuptial agreement is a legally written document that is signed by both parties, prior to the marriage. The content within a prenuptial agreement can vary greatly, but it usually protects previously owned property, and/or it can also outline the terms of a spousal support arrangement. Other issues that could be addressed in a Nevada-based prenuptial agreement are the forfeiting of marital assets under the grounds of adultery (for example). Guardianship particulars may also be addressed in this type of legal document.
The divorce law is a blanket pre-nuptial agreement that all couples are entitled to, but many couples are not satisfied with this government-based law, so they may decide to override it with a customized prenuptial agreement. Divorce may be the last thing on your mind, as you prepared to embark on marriage, but a prenuptial agreement may be a necessary step to protecting assets and future children. This document is not designed to take the romance out of your upcoming marriage, but to set realistic and clear parameters, and solidify your marriage.
Some reasons that you should consider a prenuptial agreement include, but are not limited to:
- You are financially wealthier than your future spouse. A prenuptial agreement will give you the peace of mind that your partner is choosing to marry you for your charm and witty personality, and not your large bank account.
- If your income is much higher than your future spouse, this type of agreement may limit the amount the alimony that is paid out.
- If your future spouse is bringing a large financial debt into the marriage, a prenuptial agreement may protect you from being responsible from this type of debt, if your marriage is dissolved.
- If you are a partner in a business, and your marriage ends, and you do not have a prenup in place, your spouse may get your share of the business. Your current business partners may not be pleased with this arrangement. So, a pre-nup not only protects you, but also your business partners.
- In the same manner, as a prenup can protect the wealthy, it can also protect the spouse, who does not have a lot of money, from having to pay alimony or a large financial payment, if the marriage ends.
- A prenuptial agreement can protect the wishes of your estate plan. For instance, it may ensure that a family heirloom is passed onto children or other blood relative.
- In addition, income and property that you have earned prior to marriage remains yours. For instance, a prenuptial agreement can guarantee that trusts and/or retirement accounts that you plan to leave to children will remain secure.
Many people are under the false belief, that by having a prenuptial agreement in place, that questions about validity will not arise. The truth is that issues regarding the terms, and the validity of the agreement, may indeed come as a surprise to many couples.
Some issues that may rise to the surface, when a prenuptial agreement needs to be put into play, may include (but are not limited to):
- The agreement may be deemed invalid, if one party is not willing disclose all of their assets prior to the marriage.
- The document may be deemed invalid, if one party was not provided the opportunity to have the document reviewed with an attorney.
- Some assets, which were originally separated under the terms of the agreement, have become community property, due to the merging of certain other assets.
- Debt acquired after the marriage may come under scrutiny under the terms of the prenuptial agreement, and may not be covered, as the other party may not be shielded from the repayment responsibility.
It is strongly advised, that you consult with a reputable lawyer before signing a prenuptial agreement. Seeking the counsel of a professional may clear up any misunderstandings regarding this document prior to signing.
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