A prenup, or marriage contract, is a document that you can draw up to outline how you and your spouse would manage assets before marriage. Referred to as a prenup,a prenuptial agreement lays out how assets and debts are divided if a divorce occurs. Couples entering into a marriage may enter into a prenuptial agreement, which provides a contractual agreement on how property is divided if a divorce occurs.
Most prenuptial agreements cover child support if a divorce occurs, and also address how assets and debts, both before the marriage and acquired during marriage, would be divided. Typically, one spouse will seek a prenup to protect assets they owned prior to entering into the marriage(s) or significant debts accrued before the marriage. The goal of the prenup is to outline terms of the couples assets and debts, including property and future income, and how the couples assets and debts are to be divided in the event the marriage isdissolved.
A prenup does more than just outline who gets what in a divorce, but also acts as a financial plan for the entire duration of the marriage. Before entering a prenup, you will want to compile a comprehensive list of all assets and debts that you have; both spouses should fully and fairly disclose to the other about all their assets and debts. When writing a prenup, you should discuss with your spouse what assets would be separated or joint property.
You want to ensure your spouses debts will not become your financial obligations if the marriage ends in divorce. A spouse may be entering a marriage agreement with pre-existing debts, or may have taken on debts while married. A pre-marital agreement can prevent this scenario by explicitly saying that any debts are kept as separate property.
Typically, if you do not have such an agreement, and find yourself in the middle of litigation by your divorce attorney, the local laws ultimately determine who gets what. In all these matters, your prenup must not unfairly advantage one spouse over another, leave them in dependency, or deny them basic rights should divorce occur. A prenuptial agreement can also outline whether one spouse will pay child support to the other; it can also outline how the couple will split assets amassed over the course of marriage, especially property or investment accounts.
It details assets and properties, sets out expectations regarding money, offers benefits for estate planning, and provides crucial protections if divorce occurs. If you were to get divorced or die, the postnup might stipulate that your ex or the surviving spouse receives a prenup before they remarry. Consider including alimony provisions in the prenup, that would pay maintenance if you became a stay-at-home parent, or any other scenario that might lead to a less than fair divorce settlement.