Prenuptial agreements go by many names. They can be called marital contracts, premarital agreements, marital agreements, and so on. If the contract takes place after the wedding, it is a “postnuptial” agreement or contract.
You can use a marital agreement to make decisions and almost anything related to the marriage. This contract can assign job roles to partners. It can make determinations on raising the kids, and it can even plan for unrealized, future events.
Most often, people use these agreements to separate and protect their finances. For instance, a person with significant wealth may fall in love with someone of average means. The wealthier of the two may want to put stipulations in place to protect these assets.
Doing so is not necessarily a selfish, greedy act. Your assets could be tied up in a business, or they may support your entire extended family. Premarital contracts are not about hoarding all your wealth for yourself. They can also be about securing and protecting your assets for others who rely on them.
Here are some ways that a marital contract can protect your wealth.
Marital Agreements Can Designate Separate Property
There are two types of property in a marriage: separate property and marital property. Separate property belongs to only one person, and marital property belongs to each spouse equally. In a divorce, a court decides which spouse can keep which piece of marital property.
Generally, anything you purchase within the marriage is marital property, regardless of your spouse’s involvement with said property. This standard may even apply to any new business ventures you start.
Separate property is yours alone. It includes assets you owned before marriage, gifts from people outside the marriage, or an inheritance. Even this property can become co-mingled if your spouse makes any contribution to it.
With a prenuptial agreement, you can avoid the co-mingling of your property. You can make clear designations about which property will always remain separate. This can help avoid the confusion of unclear ownership, making your property less confusing. Doing this can help in the present for your various business interests, and it can help in the future should the marriage end.
Marital Agreements Can Create a Fair Plan for Property Division
No one goes into a marriage expecting it to end. Realistically, however, about 50% of marriages do. You love your partner, and you don’t want to ever lose the relationship. However, it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst while expecting the best.
Through your marital contract, you can plan for a divorce. You can decide how you will handle spousal support, child custody, and child support. Also, you can plan for how you will divide your property.
Creating this plan now can protect you on multiple levels. First, it gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can avoid a drawn-out, ugly, confusing courtroom battle.
This plan can also protect the contract itself. Judges can overturn marital contracts if they believe it overly favors one spouse. By working on your property division plans now, you can create a fair division that benefits and protects you both while protecting all other provisions in your document.
Our firm is here to help you create a sound, reasonable prenuptial agreement that benefits everyone involved. For a consultation, call (702) 904-9898 today or contact us online.