A prenuptial agreement is a contractual agreement between prospective marital partners. A prenuptial agreement is typically used to prepare for what occurs if the couple decides to divorce or separate in the future. Prenuptial agreements cover a wide array of circumstances or issues.

According to the New York Times, approximately one-third of all marriages currently end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements, often called prenups, may be used by either party before marriage. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement of terms between future spouses that may include any provision that does not represent a legal violation. Here are some of reasons people prepare prenuptial agreements:

Financial Assets

One or both prospective spouses may have financial assets, including a business, stocks, bonds, real estate, or an inheritance prior to getting married. The prenuptial agreement protects the owner’s financial assets in the event of divorce. The prenup also protects the business owner from losing his or her business in future divorce proceedings.

Property Division

The prenuptial agreement is also used by prospective partners to determine division of property would occur if a divorce occurs in the future. The agreement may also be used to determine how the couple’s property will be used during the marriage term. For instance, a prenuptial agreement may state that spouses are allowed to maintain separate checking accounts in the marriage. The prenup may also declare an equal split of marital assets in the event of divorce.

Spousal Support

A prenuptial agreement may also define marital support matters, such as alimony, separately from property protection and/or division of property. The premarital agreement ma detail that the spouses are entitled to receive and maintain only that property he or she owned prior to entering the marriage as well as an equal split of marital assets. The prenup may also detail how much support one partner will pay the other if a divorce happens.

Fault Claims

The prenuptial agreement may also include restrictions or contingency clauses relating to the marriage. Some states, including Arizona, have no-fault divorce laws. The premarital agreement may be established as the basis for future “fault” claims. A prenuptial agreement may include an infidelity clause that says one of the partners receives a certain amount of compensation in the event of the other partner’s adultery even when the state in which they live does not offer such a fault remedy.

Child’s Inheritance Rights

A prenuptial agreement can also protect a child’s inheritance rights. For instance, a wife may use the prenuptial contract to ensure children born of the marriage are not left without assets, property, or income if she dies.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements serve to protect marriage partners during and after a divorce. An experienced family lawyer should work with both partners to create a prenuptial contract that both partners agree upon. Contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack now.