Prenuptial (or premarital) agreements are now a common occurrence in today's society. In situations where the divorce takes place, premarital agreements outline the set financial and property rights of both the husband and wife. This basically clarifies the ownership of assets and property between spouses and serves as a safeguard for their property and wealth. Premarital agreements serve several functions, including:
- Providing protection for a spouse from being burdened by the debts of the other.
- Protecting the stated property of a spouse.
- Determining the procedure through which the property of the deceased is inherited after death.
- Streamlines the division of assets after divorce.
Premarital agreements have several advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include:
- The safeguard of inheritance of children from past marriages.
- Protection of the businesses of a spouse from division or disruption post-divorce.
- Protection of a spouse from the debts of the other post-divorce.
- Establishing the roles of the spouses in terms of child and spouse support.
The disadvantages include the possibility of having to forgo of your right to your spouse's property and estate upon their death while under state law. If no premarital agreement is in place, you are entitled to a certain portion of both. It can cause distrust between the spouses because the start of marriage based on contract may lead to uneasy feelings. The agreements and rules that may seem inconsequential now may become seriously burdensome in the future depending on the circumstances. In the heat of love and passion, a spouse may agree to terms that are not reasonable or against their best interests.
Premarital agreements have several advantages and disadvantages and depending on the person and circumstances can be suitable or unsuitable. This is why it is always recommended to consult an attorney near you before making a rushed decision.