What is A Prenuptial Agreement

By: Johnette Duff

What is A Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a prenup, is a legally binding contract that is signed by a woman and man before they get married. The prenup clearly states how any pre-marital, as well as marital property will be divided up, should the marriage end in a divorce. A prenup also spells out how spousal support will be set up.

Other Terms for Prenuptials
Premarital, prenuptial, antenuptial or postmarital agreement. In some countries or cities, it is referred to as private marital contracts.

The inability of the marriage laws to meet the needs of many couples makes the concept of a marital agreement quite positive, despite the bad publicity premarital agreements have reached. The freedom to structure a relationship should not be determined by laws that do not reflect the changing realities of family life in American today.

Who Needs A Prenuptial Agreement
Anyone about to enter a marriage who is concerned about the inadequacies of the laws in the face of today's social realities;  

  • 1) If You are Rich
    If you are considerably wealthier than your partner, own your own house or have significant assets.
  • 2) Anyone who is Remarrying.
    Anyone concerned about protecting the assets of children from a prior marriage.
  • 3) Financially Dependant Parent
    Anyone who has a parents who still need their help to pay their living expenses or medical expenses. 
  • 4) Business Owners
    If you own part or all of a business or are expecting a large increase in your salary, you should also consider a prenuptial agreement. A spouse effectively becomes a silent partner in your business even if he/she do not own them. 
  • 5) Asset Rich
    Anyone with significant separate property in states where a spouse is entitled to a share of income from separate property.
  • 6) Spouses with Premarital Responsibilities
    Anyone whose intended spouse has significant premarital responsibilities, such as alimony, child support, or tax obligations.
  • 7) Anyone cautious enough
    It pays to be cautious and to prefer a written record of the ownership of assets. This can avoid confusion in the future especially from creditors or other family members.
  • 8) Celebrities
    The rich have known about them for years especially celebrities. 

Prenup is not Romantic; it is Practical.
Limiting a spouse's take, upon divorce is far from the only purpose, despite the perception. Prenup allows both parties to make decisions under the best of circumstances instead of during the emotional upheaval of a troubled relationship?

Good and bad news about Prenuptial Agreements.
The openness needed for such an agreement is good for a relationship; the implication of a lack of trust is bad. A marital contract can avoid expensive and emotionally debilitating divorce trials. Such an agreement will reduce to writing the agreement for division of property upon divorce, although it can prevent a spouse from obtaining marital rights upon divorce.

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