You're going to get married in the next few months, and your partner comes to you with a piece of paper. It's a prenuptial agreement, and he or she wants you to sign it before agreeing to the marriage. Should you sign it, or is that document little more than an insult that should cause you to reconsider the marriage entirely?
Whether you are tying the knot for the first time or considering remarriage, it's important to understand that there are certain requirements that must be met before you can be legally wed. One of the most important requirements is that you are legally free to be married, which means you are not currently legally married to anyone else. If you've been married before, even if it was just for a short time and the marriage was annulled, it's a good idea to check with a family law attorney to make sure that everything was done properly to avoid problems later on.
Our last couple of blog posts have dealt with some serious marital issues, including infidelity. A theme of those posts, and of many news reports about the same subjects, is that marital issues can seemingly come out of nowhere. What seem like happily married people one day can become divorce-seeking individuals the next after a scandal such as the Ashley Madison situation. Even a pastor who seems to have his or her marriage life together can fall prey to situations involving infidelity and his or her own mistakes.
Among other things, prenuptial agreements are essentially legal documents that specify which property and assets belong to either party prior to a marriage. Prenuptial agreements can also provide an outline for how those assets and properties should be distributed in the event that the marriage ends, or in case of a spouse's death or incapacity.
Understanding what a prenup can do for you is important to deciding whether this option is a good choice for your situation. However, it is equally important to understand what may happen in your divorce if you do not have a prenup or the court sets it aside during the divorce process.
The vast majority of people who decide to marry give little thought to the fact that they may experience a divorce in the future. However, the reality is that circumstances tend to change over time. Depending on the length of your marriage you may discover things about your spouse years after your wedding which might cause you to worry about how a divorce will affect you. For example, over time you may learn that your spouse is terrible at managing finances. Or perhaps you will discover that your spouse has a proclivity for abusing alcohol or drugs.
Prenuptial agreements used to be thought of as only something for the rich, but couples across various socioeconomic levels are increasingly turning to prenups as a way to protect their assets and simplify the property division process in the event of a divorce later on. However, there is also much confusion about what a prenup can legally cover. Understanding what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot do for you is important to creating realistic expectations.
We have provided readers with relevant information concerning prenuptial agreements in prior blog posts, and thought that today we might follow that up with some points that are germane to a postnuptial agreement.
The collective reaction is likely to be more than tepid if the subject of prenuptial agreements is brought up at any gathering where a number of adults are present.
A recent media article highlights the amount it cost a host of famous female celebrities -- all more well-known and with higher salaries than their spouses -- to secure a divorce from their husbands.