Prenuptial agreements can be broad in scope and flexible to accommodate an individual’s needs, but there are also strict rules about what cannot be included. Learn the basics of what needs to be addressed and omitted.
A prenuptial agreement should deal with:
- Assets and liabilities. A full, accurate list of everyone’s assets and liabilities as they stand at the time of the agreement should be disclosed
- How property owned by each of you prior to the marriage is to be divided in the event of divorce
- How property acquired during the marriage is to be divided
- Whether items are considered marital or separate property
- Ownership of the marital residence
- Distribution of property upon death of one of the spouses
- Alimony or spousal support obligations
- Financial responsibilities during the marriage
- A premarital debt action plan of how the debt will be paid off and by whom
- Gifts, trusts and inheritances that you will someday receive (you may include a declaration of any unknown inheritances to protect assets you are unaware of)
- How disputes about the prenup are to be resolved (through mediation, arbitration, etc.)
- A sunset clause. Many couples specify that their prenuptial agreement will change or not be valid if they are married for a certain number of years
Prenuptial agreements cannot deal with:
- Timesharing/Custody of the children (this includes things such as in what religion to raise the children, their schooling, etc.)
- Visitation rights
- Child support
- Anything “illegal” (as with most contracts)
- Anything “unconscionable” (unfair)
- Anything that is thought to encourage divorce (you can’t offer a financial bonus if the spouse leaves after an agreed upon time
Retaining an experienced attorney, such as Charles Jamieson, is essential for anyone seeking a prenuptial agreement. In addition to protecting the future spouse and the enforceability of the agreement, a lawyer can help you negotiate an agreement that fits your future plans.
For more than 25 years, Charles D. Jamieson, a Board Certified Family and Marital Law Attorney, has assisted clients in protecting their families and assets during the chaos and upheaval in their divorces. To schedule a consultation or learn more about his firm, visit his website at: https://cjamiesonlaw.com.