The law always considers marriage a contract between two individuals. A premarital agreement, also called a prenuptial agreement—or “prenup” for short—permits a couple to create the terms of property rights for their marriage.
A good prenuptial lawyer will make sure that your premarital agreement completely fits your needs.
Under a state law, each spouse automatically gets property rights unless a lawfully enforceable agreement dictates otherwise. For instance, a couple owns a piece of property together, which was acquired during the marriage.
If the parties divorce or one spouse dies, then the state law will dictate the disposition of the property. If the married partners wish to divide the property differently, then this is when it is important to have a prenup.
Here are some reasons why a prenuptial agreement is so important.
1. Keeping finances distinct – There are certain kinds of property acquired during a marriage, which automatically become part of the marital estate or community. A premarital agreement can clearly define whether the asset is part of the marital estate or whether an asset is the separate property of one spouse.
2. Providing for children – A prenuptial agreement will ensure that children from previous relationships and/or marriages inherit particular property from a deceased parent.
3. Outlining financial responsibilities during marriage – Married couples can decide to use a prenuptial agreement to make financial decisions. For example, a couple can decide who will be named a beneficiary to an estate should one spouse pass away or whether to open joint accounts.
4. Establishing property rights in the event of a divorce – It might seem counter intuitive to draft a prenuptial agreement before a marriage, which ultimately protects one or both parties in the event of a divorce. But the sad truth is divorce could happen, and it is incredibly common. A prenuptial agreement can dictate how property is divided in the event the marriage ends.
5. Two Lawyers are better than one – To avoid a court of law from declaring a prenuptial agreement invalid, it is highly advisable that a couple hires two experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers who will represent the interests of each party. In fact, courts are very cautious about implementing a premarital agreement signed by a party who didn’t have independent legal representation.
Before drafting a prenuptial agreement with an attorney, a couple should have a proper understanding of the details to be included in the agreement. Drafting an outline of the terms is an effective way to create a fair agreement.
Each party involved should also fully report their assets and income, which will satisfy that each party has made full disclosure of their current finances.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, then also consider working with a prenuptial agreement attorney to protect your rights, assets, and interests. Contact the family law attorney at Estevez-Pazos Law Firm, P.A. to get started on yours today. Call us at 305-717-7130 to schedule an initial consultation
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