When you have that engagement glow, it’s hard to think of anything ever dimming your dedication to your soon-to-be spouse. However, no one can predict the future, and it’s important to prepare for all possibilities. A prenuptial agreement, far from setting a marriage up for failure, outlines the couple’s expectations and protects both parties if a divorce occurs.
1. Keep Control of Premarital Assets
If you are entering marriage with assets, it’s important to outline what will happen to those assets if divorce occurs. Otherwise, you could end up in a costly legal battle where you have to fight for assets accrued long before the marriage even started. This is particularly important if you have children from a previous relationship—losing savings, equity, or other assets in a contentious divorce could limit your ability to provide for them and cover their educational expenses.
2. Protect a Family-Owned Business
When one party of a marriage owns part of a family-owned business, it’s essential to protect their business interests with a prenuptial agreement. Without a prenuptial agreement, the other party in a divorce could end up as a partial owner with full access to the company’s books and assets. Furthermore, alimony payments could be affected by the value of the business.
3. Set Alimony Standards in Case of Divorce
Alimony is a major fear for many people preparing for marriage. Setting up clear alimony limitations is actually beneficial to both parties. If you’re the spouse with a lower earning potential, outlining alimony limits ahead of time gives you the chance to ensure that you’d be able to meet your financial obligations if a divorce were to occur. If you’re the spouse with a higher earning potential, you can advocate for fair alimony payments that wouldn’t limit your standard of living.
4. Limit Legal Expenses if a Divorce Occurs
No matter what precipitates a divorce, a dissolution can turn contentious very quickly. If one or both parties want to fight for a greater share of marital assets, attorney fees rack up quickly. In some cases, the higher-earning party may be held responsible for both sides’ attorney fees. Since courts typically uphold fair prenuptial agreements that are not signed under duress, an agreement can limit fights over assets and liabilities. This may significantly reduce attorney fees.
5. Protect an Inheritance
Inherited money is often excluded from equitable distribution of marital assets, offering some protection to those who receive an inheritance during a marriage. However, the court may look at inherited assets while dividing up remaining marital property or setting alimony. With the assistance of a prenuptial agreement attorney, you can protect your inheritance.
The division of assets and liabilities can draw out any divorce case. Outlining these expectations in a prenuptial agreement can ensure that both parties’ best interests are represented. Get help drawing up your prenuptial agreement by calling Estevez-Pazos Law Firm at (305) 717-7130.
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