Marriage is an agreement that includes sharing the rhythm of life with another person, as well as sharing property, finances, investments, and many other tangible aspects of day-to-day living.
A prenuptial agreement is an optional document that a couple can sign before entering a marriage outlining each persons’ assets and rights in case of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are often signed early in the marriage if the couple didn’t have time to finalize a prenup or even years into a marriage when they become aware of their difficult relationship and are looking for legal clarity.
Though these documents may seem threatening and lacking confidence in the marriage, a couple cannot predict all the challenges and changes that will occur throughout life. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can benefit a couple in many ways, particularly if the couple decides to go their separate ways and end the marriage.
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement also referred to as a “prenup,” is a written contract between two people that is signed before getting married. Typically, this signed document lists the debt and property that each person has when they go into a marriage. It proceeds to specify the property rights that each person will have after the marriage.
Though a prenup must be signed before the union takes place, a postnuptial agreement can be an alternative that the couple may document after they get married. This contract details the division of assets if the couple were to separate or divorce. Property acquired before and after the marriage, as well as incurring debts, and spousal or child support may be covered in this document.
When Should I Consider Getting a Prenup Agreement?
Many people may go into a marriage knowing that they want a prenup. The following reasons are common motives for desiring a prenup.
● Protection from debt
● Children from previous marriages
● Clarification of finances
● Avoidance of future arguments
Prenups protect each person in a marriage from the debt that the other person brings to the table, and the agreement also allows each person to secure property, money, and assets to pass on to children from a prior marriage. Signing this document might be a way to clarify each person’s financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage. It can also erase anxieties about the future.
What are the Benefits of a Prenup?
If a prenuptial agreement has never sounded appealing to you before, consider the ways that your marriage might benefit from this agreement.
1. Harmony – Prenups can actually reduce stress in a marriage. Arguments about debt in the marriage end quickly because the agreement may remind the couples that each individual’s debt is his or her own. Prenups and postnuptial agreements can eliminate the cause of disagreements by detailing the rights and responsibilities of each spouse.
2. Plan – The document may also serve to provide a solid plan moving forward. With a prenup, several items may be checked off of the planning list, such as financial responsibilities, property rights, and peaceful division in the case of divorce. A prenuptial agreement attorney can help you make these plans ahead of time, rather than costing you astronomical fees during a time-consuming, emotionally-charged separation.
3. Trust – Many couples believe that prenups and postnuptial agreements lack trust. In reality, it is just the opposite. When constructing the legally binding document, spouses trust each other to speak openly and honestly about hard topics. Participating in the agreement process shows each spouse that their partner takes the relationship seriously. Trust and communication are large parts of a prenuptial agreement.
Know Your Options
If you did not want a prenup in the past, the benefits might sound quite appealing to you now. Consider signing a written contract before marriage or get help constructing a postnuptial agreement if you are already married.
Before you visit a lawyer, it may help you and your spouse to create a draft detailing what topics you would like covered in the document and what rights and responsibilities each partner have within those subjects.
Contact Segal Duffek Moen Today!
Though conversations, books, and draft writings are helpful, the best way to handle prenup and postnuptial documents is to contact a family law attorney. At Segal Duffek Moen in Minneapolis, we have the knowledge and experience to find the best and easiest solution for you and your current or future spouse. Contact Segal Duffek Moen today to learn more about our areas of practice.