Divorce and Premarital Agreements: What are Premarital Agreements?

 


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Before getting married, many couples are now choosing to reach a pre-marital agreement. Premarital agreements also know as pre-nuptial or ante-nuptial agreements, once seemed to be reserved to Hollywood stars or Celebrities for Hollywood divorces or Celebrity divorces. However, over the last decade it became more and more common for the common spouse to sign a premarital agreement contract with his/her future spouse, especially on the West Coast.

Most people believe that premarital agreements are only meant to allow both parties to keep their own assets if the marriage fails. But a premarital agreement can also provide children the right to receive the assets, or a large part of them, if both parents pass away. One of the main purposes of a pre-marital agreement is to work out all the divorce details rather than leave these potential issues unresolved. The increasing number of pre-marital agreements can be seen as an indicator that couples acknowledge that their marriage has a fifty percent chance of ending up in divorce and prefer to reach an agreement prior to marriage in order to prevent future disputes in the event of a divorce or dissolution of marriage.

What makes a good pre-marital agreement? A pre-marital agreement covers wide arrays of aspects and it is important to determine what you should and should not include in your pre-marital agreement. First, a pre-marital agreement should contain a detailed pre-marital history and family circumstances. This can be very important when one party is marrying for a second or third time and has other children. Provisions should be made to consider the past history of one party. Second, there must be a thorough written disclosure of both parties’ assets and liabilities brought into the marriage. Third, the agreement must stipulate how earnings during the marriage period will be shared in case of a divorce. Eventually, the parties should be given enough time to thoroughly review the agreement. This is why couples are seeking to be more advised about pre-marital agreements and are reaching pre-marital agreements well in advance of the wedding.

Do I need an attorney to make a pre-marital agreement? If you decide to reach a pre-marital agreement with your future spouse you may want to consult an attorney. Even though a pre-marital agreement may not look so complicated on its face and you think you could save some money by doing it yourself it could be helpful to at least consult an attorney who can provide you with legal advice on premarital agreements. In theory, you are not legally obliged to hire an attorney. But without legal counseling, a pre-marital agreement could create more issues than solving them if not done correctly. You do not need the best family law attorney in San Francisco or Los Angeles who deals with stars and celebrity divorces. However, you would be wise to consult an attorney to learn what steps you need to take legally. Premarital agreements do not always have to be expensive and can often be handled by a general practicing attorney.

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