Why Everyone Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement
Marriage is a beautiful, wonderful union, intended to be a lifelong commitment of love and happiness between two people. When you are newly engaged, it’s bound to be on your mind in the best of ways. There is so much to plan and consider for just the wedding itself! From choosing a venue to invitations to cake-tasting, it makes sense that couples usually focus more on the immediate future than the distant when it comes to planning. They certainly do not want to focus on anything less-than-happy — like a prenup.
The word immediately brings “divorce” to the minds of most, and they’re not wrong. However, shying away from it out of stubborn certainty that you’ll never need it is a risk you do not have to — and should not — take.
The benefits and purposes of prenuptial agreements
Despite popular belief, having a prenuptial agreement is not setting your marriage up for failure, being greedy, or in any way immoral. It’s a protection plan. When you are merging your life with someone else’s, it is a necessary provision for the sake of both parties — no matter how in love you are. The fact of the matter is you cannot predict the future, and prenuptial agreements can help in more ways than one might think. They:
- Protect one spouse from any debts of the other
- Protect ownership interests in large assets like business or real estate
- Distinguish between separate and joint property
- Protect the financial interests of any children from any previous marriages
Should a divorce happen, the legally binding contract of a prenuptial agreement is what the court will follow when dividing your assets. The point of all of this is to eliminate future issues and problems before they happen, if they ever do. It also can help both of you keep a clearer image of your circumstances, preventing possible misunderstandings. That’s right; ironically, a prenuptial agreement can strengthen the relationship rather than weakening or dooming it.
Creating your Maryville prenup
Even though prenuptial agreements are overall beneficial, they still involve some work to set up and get right. You want to make sure all your bases are covered and every factor considered to avoid as many issues as possible in the future. It is incredibly difficult to change one of these contracts after they have been finalized, so it is important to try to get everything settled the first time. This is best done with the help of a family law attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law and can make sure you are as protected as possible in as many scenarios as possible.
Alongside hiring dependable legal representation, experts have other tips for putting together an effective prenuptial agreement:
- Invest substantial time into talking about your finances with your partner, including goals, debts, assets, and any other monetary influences. Strong couples need to be able to have frank talks about money, especially when marriage is involved.
- Hire separate attorneys from each other, and ensure they specialize in divorce and family law. This avoids any conflict of interest.
- Be an active part of the process by reading over all drafts of the prenup that are drawn and working with your partner to make any changes. Both partners should have an equal amount of say and influence, even if it is simply rewording a sentence or clarifying something small.
- Take your time with the process. Rushing allows for things to slip through the cracks, and future courts may question the validity of the agreement if they believe it was overly hasty. Ideally, it should take at least six months to completely put together and sign.
If you have already gotten married and did not create a prenuptial agreement, you can create a postnuptial one instead. It is exactly the same, but it happens after marriage instead of before — although they can be a bit more difficult to enforce. It is best to consider postnuptial agreements as the Plan B if Plan A, getting a prenuptial, doesn’t work out.
For either document to be enforceable, a court of law has to find them valid and legitimate. Anything that implies it is at all involuntary, under duress, or missing important assets and funds could prevent your prenuptial agreement from being used or considered. In Tennessee, cooperation, thoroughness, and genuine desire are absolute musts and, with how complicated the law can be and how many factors affect it, this is one of the many reasons why legal representation is so necessary. No, you technically do not need the help of an attorney, but using one ensures you and your children are protected where it counts — should you ever need to be.
The divorce and family law attorneys at Shepherd & Long have decades of experience helping people just like you create valid, legitimate, and effective prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. We want to help you plan for the future and anything it may hold, and we are happy to answer any and all of your questions regarding the process. With offices throughout East Tennessee and Blount County, we can be here for you anywhere you need us in the state. To schedule a consultation or simply to get more information, give us a call today at 865-982-8060 or use our contact form. Don’t plan for failure; set yourself up for success.