When you are planning a wedding and the changes marriage may bring to your life, you don’t want to worry about entering a messy legal process. Luckily, a prenuptial agreement is simple to create and can save headaches down the road.
We have spoken in previous posts about why a prenuptial agreement is beneficial regardless of divorce as it mainly focuses on what belongs to whom at the beginning of your marriage. This contract usually dictates how to partition property, money and other assets ahead of time and can be adjusted later on if you need to make changes.
When creating a prenuptial agreement, it is important to:
- Share financial details with your partner, including all property, debts, and income. Without openly sharing these with each other before signing, a court could your contract in the future due to suspected hidden assets.
- Find separate legal representation for you and your spouse. In order to ensure that the prenuptial agreement is fair, each of you should have an attorney who keeps your best interests in mind. Having your own attorney help prepare such an agreement does not mean that you and your partner are adversaries. Instead, it shows a court that you and your partner were serious about creating a binding agreement.
- With your lawyers, define the terms of the contract. This involves negotiation and making a plan for specific assets. The agreement and all its terms should be in writing and signed. You and your partner should submit it as early as you can, at least 30 days before your wedding date. Ample time is necessary to prove to a court that your marriage and prenuptial agreement were deliberate.
Abiding by prenup guidelines will help prevent misunderstandings from arising later on. Such an agreement helps both you and your partner better understand what to expect from each other.
If you are already married, you can also work with your attorney to create a postnuptial agreement. The process for a postnuptial contract, which follows the same steps as a prenuptial agreement, includes classifying the resources you now share in marriage.