Prenuptial Agreements: Sign On The Dotted Line?
Wedding bells are ringing. The songs of love are singing. The bridal gown glitters. The rings are polished. The license is signed. The cake has been ordered.
Only one thing's left. The prenuptial agreement must be finalized. Commonly called “prenups” the agreements establish the property and financial assets between a husband and wife in case their marriage ends in divorce.
For some couples, such as celebrities and individuals who've acquired wealth, prenuptial agreements are mandatory before standing at the altar. For others, prenuptial agreements are viewed as a document of distrust, an expectation that the marriage will fail.
About 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, according to national statistics from the American Psychological Association. Of that number, about 15 percent regret not establishing a prenuptial agreement. When there is no “prenup” marriages such as NBA star Michael Jordan, end in a $168 million award to his former wife, Juanita Vanoy. Prenuptial agreements can protect personal rights such as rearing children, property rights, and consequences determined if a spouse engages infidelity.
Our law firm will help you weigh the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement in light of your current, past and future assets.
When couples are in business together prenuptial agreements may be an option to ensure their interests in the business are protected from bad business decisions. Spouses are protected from the business being sold out from under them.
In some states, when a spouse owns property before marriage, the individuals they marry has no rights to that land. In cases where children from other marriages are involved, a wife may continue to live in her husband's house after he expires. When she passes away, the property would be awarded to his children from a previous marriage. To learn more about prenuptial agreements read the U.S. News and World Report article For Love or For Money: Should You Get A Prenup?
In some cases, prenuptial agreements are unnecessary when couples share a deep seated trust and amicable relationship that understands giving generously is a part of marriage. Refusing to think about divorce as an option, these couples select marital counseling in cases where marriage disagreements can turn to separation and potential divorce. Couples who are willing to relinquish all to each other typically have successful marriages, verses those who focus on themselves, thus ending in divorce. For more information on alternatives to prenuptial agreements read The New York Times article If You Want A Prenup You Don't Want Marriage.
Whether a prenuptial agreement is signed or a couple stands at the altar without signing on the dotted line, a couple in love can weather the storms of marriage with open communication, legal counseling and unconditional love.