Premarital/Prenuptial Agreements Are In the News!
Premarital/Prenuptial Agreements: Do You Have One?
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more and more Americans are walking down the aisle with a premarital/prenuptial agreement. And why not? With about 50% of our marriages ending in divorce, it only makes sense that couples want to protect themselves and their assets.
I've always touted prenuptial/premarital agreements, believing that every couple should have one. They are not negative legal documents as many contend, but must be seen as positive instruments of change!
Premarital/Prenuptial Agreements: Not Just For the Rich and Famous!
More and more people are realizing that a well-thought-out premarital/prenuptial agreement can stop the trauma and expense of a difficult divorce. If everything is laid out, legally, before a divorce occurs, there's no going to court to fight it out! It's already done--and the terms and conditions of separation and divorce are specified in the premarital/prenuptial agreement.
This keeps the money out of the hands of greedy attorneys who are the only ones who benefit in the case of a long, protracted divorce--and keeps the money in the hands of the divorcing couple where it belongs!
The Benefits of PreMarital/Prenuptial Agreements
Many couples have accrued assets before they enter into marriage. Some even buy a home together beforehand. On the other hand, some have sizable debt. Either way, a pre-nup can protect you! It will even protect your future children.
When the agreement is structured, it will detail what happens to a house in the event of divorce, what happens to debt that was accrued before marriage (the person who had the debt is responsible), and will address the amount of child support and alimony to be paid. It will also protect children from a previous marriage, who need to be sheltered financially. And it will detail how the estate is to be divided. No muss, no fuss!
That's why premarital/prenuptial agreements are no longer legal instruments of just the rich and famous. They're for everyone!
How To Get A PreMarital/Prenuptial Agreement
1. To get a premarital/prenuptial agreement, each of you must find a lawyer who specializes in family law. This is to prevent a conflict of interest.
2. All assets and liabilities must be disclosed by each party in a financial affidavit.
3. Assets and division of same after death, will be addressed.
4. The agreement must contain a serverability clause, meaning if the court finds one aspect of the pre-nup unacceptable, it won't cancel the entire contract.
5. It should contain an escalator clause, which increases monetary funds etc. that are paid to the spouse in direct relation to the length of the marriage.
6. You must each sign of your own free will.
* The premarital/prenuptial agreement should be reviewed and updated every few years.
Get A Lawyer! Pre-Nups Are NOT Something You Do on Your Own!
Premarital/prenuptial agreements are not something you do on your own. Call an attorney who specializes in family law. if you don't know one, get in touch with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: www.aaml.org for a referral!
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