Monthly Archives: February 2013

Prenuptial Agreements: Protecting Property Before a Divorce

Unfortunately, we live in a world today where a significant number of divorces occur every year. No one expects that his or her marriage will end in divorce, of course, which is why many couples forgo signing a prenuptial agreement.  We often hear of celebrities getting a prenuptial agreement. It makes sense given the large amounts of money and assets that celebrities often possess. However, celebrities should not be the only ones considering a prenuptial agreement. This legal document can be quite beneficial for the ordinary American couple as well.

In short, a prenuptial agreement lays out the business and financial affairs of a couple if they decide to divorce. For example, a prenuptial agreement can keep certain properties of each spouse separate so that if they do divorce, the ex spouse is unable to claim that particular property. A property can entail almost anything such as interest on retirement accounts, a family heirloom or a family home.

In addition to protecting certain property, a prenuptial agreement can also protect a spouse from being legally responsible for an ex spouse’s debt that was acquired prior to their marriage. This is critical in situations where one spouse has a large amount of debt, while the other spouse does not. A prenuptial agreement would protect the financial future of the spouse who is not in debt.

Certain arrangements cannot be incorporated into a prenuptial agreement. For example, a couple cannot decide issues about child custody or child support in the prenuptial agreement. This is because it is not possible to foresee the circumstances at the time of the divorce. If the separating spouses cannot come to an agreement, the courts will decide on the issues of child custody and child support based on what is in the child’s best interest.

Overall, a prenuptial agreement can save couples time and money, should they decide to get a divorce. It is a useful document that can protect property and also limit the financial obligations for each of the spouses.