Today we want to discuss important things to consider before signing a prenuptial agreement. Talking about a prenup with your would-be life partner may sometimes seem odd and horrible. But marriage counselors and lawyers nowadays relate to prenuptial agreements quite differently.
According to many experts, a prenup is all about sharing the responsibilities and rights of enlisted assets and liabilities in a legal agreement before marriage.
So, it indicates that sensible couples are very unlikely to end up in a divorce or long-term separation. And the prenup is just a heads up of the potential events.
If you’re eager to know more on a prenup, read on to find eight crucial points before getting into a prenuptial agreement with your better half.
What Is a Prenup?
Prenuptial agreement or prenup is a written agreement between the would-be husband and wife. In this agreement, both enlist their assets and liabilities. It goes on to declare the rights of each partner. Furthermore, this agreement tells how to disburse the assets when the marriage is legally dissolved.
What to ask for in a prenup is an important aspect that each partner should consider carefully. Usually, both partners consult a legal attorney to clarify the prenup clauses.
The attorney will help you understand your financial goals, appropriate spending habits, taxes, debt allocation, agreement validity, and more.
But you can have a gist of what to expect and consider before moving on with a prenup with your partner. You’ll find those elaborated in the next segment.
8 Crucial Things You Must Consider before Signing a Prenuptial Agreement
Getting into any legal agreement without checking its specific aspects is foolish. And you don’t want to sabotage your lifelong courtship on a whim, right?
Hence, you should start preparing for a prenup well ahead of the auspicious day. Find out what essential things compound a prenuptial agreement before actually signing it. It’s necessary for both of you to know what you’re aiming for in your marriage from financial and familial perspectives.
So, let’s get to those important things which you should ponder:
1. Cost of a Prenup
A prenup cost may be anywhere between $1,500 to $9,000. It may cost more depending on the criticality of the assets and liabilities.
Your attorney may charge a flat fee for drafting an agreement, including all the required clauses. However, if any of the partners or both want to add any special requirement, or anything more complicated arises, you may be charged hourly on top of the flat fee.
2. People Who Require a Prenup
People who need prenup may be categorized under various situations. You must consider your situation before signing a prenup too.
A prenup may be required if:
- One or both partners were married before; typically in an unhappy marriage
- There’s a financial disparity, meaning one is wealthier than the other and looking for an honest life partner
- One or both parties have children; indicating a financial security for them upon divorce or death
- One partner has substantial debt, so the other partner doesn’t have to bear the liability during the marriage or after divorce.
- One or both partners emphasize confidentiality about personal lives
So, these are a few good aspects that represent reliability and transparency a prenup can ensure for both partners.
3. Premarital Property Vs. Marital Property
A prenup can enlist and settle the properties acquired both before and after marriage between the partners.
Properties acquired before marriage are termed as premarital properties. Conversely, marital properties are the ones you inherit during the marriage.
Essentially, a prenuptial agreement will see to it that your properties are settled and entitled to the rightful partner in a secured manner. It’s about stamping the commitment onto the papers, so none of the partners can deny or twist the disbursement later.
4. Fairness and Honesty
Speaking of fairness, a prenuptial agreement must be fair for both partners in terms of assets and debt allocation. Most importantly, the court can disagree and discount the prenup if it’s ambiguous or unfair to one of the partners.
In short, the prenuptial contract shouldn’t divide the properties so that one party gets a disproportionately larger amount than the other.
Besides, both parties should be honest enough to disclose their financial records in detail, including bank statements, stocks, bonds, estates, taxes, debts, and liabilities.
5. Amendment Scope in a Prenup
Don’t go with the rumors since a prenup can be amended as many times as you both partners think necessary. However, the attorney will ask for both partners’ explicit agreement on the modifications.
Besides, there’s a scope for a ‘sunset clause’ which means you can annex an expiration date of the contract. This will help both partners to revisit the attorney with additional changes over time if required.
6. Consider Child Support
This is something a prenup can’t endorse for the partners; the child support and custody.
You can’t expect a prenuptial contract to ensure a financial provision for the children. Also, there’s no scope in a prenup to dictate the children’s custody, including parenting, schooling, religion, etc.
These are the concerns which the court should look into and decide for the children’s welfare.
7. Inclusivity of a Prenup
The sole purpose of the prenup is primarily focused on financial provision, debt allocation, inheritance, and partner support. It shouldn’t be on the card if you expect other social or irrational support from this.
What you can’t expect from the prenuptial agreement are:
- Clauses encouraging divorce
- Motivating unlawful activities
- Non-financial or irrelevant clauses
8. Scope of a Prenup Invalidation
You shouldn’t take a prenuptial contract as guaranteed enforcement. It may be invalidated upon receiving a fair objection from any one of the partners.
The reasons why a prenup can be revoked are:
- Unfair or irrational financial provisions
- Dishonesty in making a full financial disclosure
- Signing the prenup under pressure or in an unstable mental state
So, you should consider this before agreeing to sign a prenuptial contract. A prenup stands for spousal support from a financial standpoint, not enforcing emotional or social customs.
Speak openly with both your would-be life partner and the legal attorney before drafting a prenuptial agreement. Bring out all possible yet reasonable financial aspects into discussion, so none can be mistreated or cheated.
It’s also essential to know that the court will never justify or support the irrational clauses of a prenup. Instead, the court can nullify the contract to avoid promoting lunacy and unfairness.
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