What You Can and Cant Do With A Prenuptial Agreement

Many people assume that a prenuptial agreement is something that only rich people need before getting married. In reality, the benefits of a prenuptial agreement are much broader than that. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement that will break down what will happen to your assets, liabilities and sometimes children after your marriage and in the event of a divorce or death, and should be a consideration for anyone about to get married. Here is what you can and can’t do with a prenuptial agreement.

A Prenup Can:

Gunderson Denton & Peterson talks about the do's and dont's of prenuptial agreementsDetermine who gets what. Without a valid agreement, the courts will divide your property and assets if you get divorced. With a prenup, you can establish your own guidelines for who gets what. Keep your finances separate. In most states, assets that are accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property, regardless of whose name they are under. A premarital agreement can help keep the finances separate and not muddy the lines on whose is whose.

Spare your spouse from debt. Like assets, you can enter into a marriage with debt. Without a valid prenup in place, creditors can come after martial property to rectify the debts of only one of the spouses. A prenup can protect your spouse from your debts, and vice versa.

Provide for any children from a prior marriage. If you or your spouse have children from a prior relationship, a prenup can ensure that those children inherit their share, even if your current marriage produces children.

Keep family property separate. If you have property that is meant to be kept in your birth family, having a prenup is essential. An agreement will guarantee that the property will stay in your family line, and not be considered martial property.

Determine marital responsibilities. A prenup can also regulate who is in charge of certain things in the marriage. For example: who pays the bills, whether you will file a joint or separate tax return, how to handle bank accounts and credit cards and other agreements regarding finances can be included in a prenup.

A Prenup Can’t:

Lead to divorce. A prenup will be void in court if it is suspected that it was created with divorce in mind or if it led to the actual divorce.
Hinder child support or custody. A prenuptial agreement cannot limit future child support, custody or visitation rights. Child welfare is considered a matter for the courts, and is not to be determined by a couple ahead of time.

It is a common assumption that prenuptial agreements are only necessary when a lot of money is at risk. However, a prenuptial agreement is much more than that. It can help you manage money, property, debts and responsibilities.If you are planning to get married, it is worth speaking with an attorney about whether or not a prenup is right for you.

Author Brad Denton

Guest Blog Written By
Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099
Email: brad@gundersondenton.com

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