While it’s probably obvious that not everyone opts to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot, more couples are making the decision to do just that. Also referred to as a “prenup,” the document spells out the division of property and debts in the event of divorce.
Typically, if you don’t have this type of agreement and find yourself involved with a divorce lawyer, local laws end up dictating who gets what.
At some point, before the big day, take time to ask yourself the questions below. Once you’ve come up with the answers, you’ll find it easier to decide whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Really a Requirement?
Ultimately, the decision to use a prenuptial agreement is up to you. Consider doing so for one or more of the following reasons:
- You own a business
- You expect an increase in your income
- One of you is wealthier than the other
- There’s a possibility you’ll receive a large inheritance
- One of you is going to put the other one through school
Does Opting for a Prenup Mean There’s No Trust in a Relationship?
Opting for a prenup doesn’t mean there’s no trust in a relationship. Not only does this document spell out who gets what, in the event of divorce, it also acts as a financial blueprint throughout the course of the marriage. This, in turn, helps you and your spouse build a stable financial future.
“Part financial planning, part legal document and part romance-killer (or so say some people), a prenuptial agreement isn’t just for celebrities. It’s for anyone who likes to have stuff down in writing … before the divorce hits the fan,” said Alden Wicker of Fox Business.
Are There Limitations on Who Creates a Prenuptial Agreement?
Generally, any couple who plans to get married can opt for a prenuptial agreement.
How Much Does This Type of Agreement Cost?
The cost of a prenup varies, usually based on your location and the complexity of your finances. Just as an estimate, at the time of this writing, expect to pay in excess of $1000.
What isn’t Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Issues such as child support, child custody and visitation rights aren’t included in a prenuptial agreement. Neither is property provisions or anything having to do with personal matters such as chores or child-rearing. If any of these things are in your prenup, they’ll never hold up in court.
“Please do not include any provisions that deal with such, as the courts will always make a decision based on the best interests of the child(ren) at the time of divorce,” according to LAWDEPOT.
Is a Do-it-Yourself Prenup Possible?
Unfortunately, writing up your own prenuptial agreement isn’t recommended. This is due to the fact that the document is extremely hard to enforce, when created by individuals other than an attorney.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Changed?
Yes, a prenup can be changed, if both individuals agree to it. You simply destroy the original agreement and create a new one.
When Do You Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?
Sign a prenup no later than 30 days before you get married. This helps to enforce the fact that you weren’t pressured into signing it, closer to the wedding date.
Is it Necessary for a Prenup to Be on File?
It’s not necessary for a prenuptial agreement to be kept on file. Keeping a signed copy in a safe place is all that’s needed.
Does a Prenup Eliminate the Need for Litigation?
In some cases, a prenuptial agreement eliminates the need for litigation. This doesn’t happen often. However, the good news is that having a prenup typically speeds up the litigation process.
So I Should Get a Divorce Lawyer Regardless?
A divorce lawyer is going to help you navigate the complicated and frustrating legal process of divorce, which is invaluable during this often stressful period in your life.
At Galbraith Family Law, we know that soon-to-be ex-spouses have a difficult road ahead, and we have helped countless men and women sort things out as smoothly and painless as possible. If you want to learn more about prenuptial agreements, or you need legal representation, contact us today, and start your new life on the right foot.