The Prenup: It’s Not Romantic, But It Might Be Necessary
Writing a “marriage contract” may not seem romantic, but if you and your prospective spouse have assets to protect or children from a previous marriage to provide for and are entering your second or subsequent marriage, a prenuptial agreement might be the best decision you and your future spouse can make. It may well preserve family harmony among everyone.
Lewis Law Office, P.C., in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, can help you draft a prenuptial agreement that considers the interests of all parties with a stake in your marriage decision.
What Prenuptial Agreements Are — And What They Aren’t
Prenuptial agreements — also called antenuptial agreements — are agreements made before marriage that can set ground rules regarding finances, both during the marriage or after it ends.
Prenuptial/antenuptial agreements can be useful for couples who want to:
- Keep income and assets, as well as debts, from becoming “community property”
- Ensure that assets are available to children from earlier marriages
- Preserve family property, such as a family business or an heirloom
- Clarify marital responsibilities, such as payment of bills, taxes and credit card charges
- Define distribution of property in the event of a divorce and/or death
- Settle potential disagreements over education costs in advance
- Establish private mediation or arbitration as a resolution method in lieu of disputes
There are some important things these agreements can’t accomplish, however. These include:
- Restricting child support payments, which is illegal
- Limiting child custody or visitation rights, which is also illegal
- Making arbitrary rules that limit a person’s basic rights, assign nonfinancial duties such as household chores or dictate whether another party uses birth control
Sympathy For The Prenup?
“Prenups,” as these agreements are often called, have a bad reputation because many people interpret them as a statement of bad faith — as if the party proposing the agreement isn’t committed to the union.
However, once both parties realize the agreement is to protect both spouses’ interests and the interest of their respective families, it has been our experience that prenuptial agreements can be a wise decision. Prenuptial agreements can be valuable when one or both parties have interests that aren’t addressed favorably by Missouri law. Such agreements can protect family harmony for all.
Need Advice? Contact Your Missouri Estate Planning Attorney.
As always, important life decisions involving assets are best made with the assistance of an experienced and conscientious estate planning lawyer who can memorialize your intentions in writing and in accordance with Missouri law.
Avoid Probate • Maximize Tax Protection • Preserve Family Harmony