A prenuptial agreement, more commonly referred to as a prenup for short, is a legal document that couples in the United States can use to protect their individual assets in the event of a divorce. This document can be used to outline what will happen to property and assets acquired before and during the marriage. It can also be used to spell out who will receive custody of any children born during the marriage. If you are considering getting married, it is important to understand what a prenuptial agreement is and what value it can add for you and your spouse.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are creating a prenuptial agreement:
- Be honest about individual assets and debts. It is important to be upfront with your soon-to-be spouse about your individual assets and debts. This includes any property that you own, as well as any money that you owe. This information will be used to determine how your assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Any form of dishonesty could invalidate the agreement.
- Be clear about what is and is not included in the agreement. It is important to be clear about what is and is not included in the prenuptial agreement. This will help to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding down the road. For example, you may want to include a clause that states that any property acquired during the marriage will be considered joint property. Another popular clause is one that outlines what will happen to any children born during the marriage. These are just a few traditional examples, so be sure to discuss what you would like to include with your partner.
- Get everything in writing. Once both parties have decided what to include in the prenuptial agreement, it is important to get everything in writing. This will help to ensure that there is no confusion or misunderstandings about the terms of the agreement.
- Have a Tulsa family attorney review the agreement. Before you sign a prenuptial agreement, it is important to have a Tulsa divorce attorney review the document. This will help to ensure that the agreement is fair and legal. Sometimes, couples will sign a prenuptial agreement without having it reviewed by an attorney. This can be a mistake, as some clauses may be unfair or illegal, and they may not be discovered until it is too late.
What Assets Can Be Protected in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Many couples choose to sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their individual assets in the event of a divorce. This document can be used to protect any property or assets that you own before the marriage.
Some of the assets that can be protected in a prenuptial agreement include:
- Property. The property that you own before the marriage can be protected in a prenuptial agreement. This includes your home, any investment property, and any other real estate that you may own.
- Savings. Any savings that you have before the marriage can also be protected in a prenuptial agreement. This includes any savings accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.
- Debts. If you have any debts before the marriage, you can use a prenuptial agreement to legally protect your spouse from having to pay these debts one day. This can be important if you have a lot of debt or have debt that is not in your name.
- Businesses. If you own a business, you can use a prenuptial agreement to protect your business in the event of a divorce. This can be especially important if you have built up your business over a long period of time.
- Personal belongings. Personal belongings. You can also use a prenuptial agreement to protect your personal belongings, such as your car, furniture, and jewelry. These items can be important to you, and you may not want them to be divided in the event of a divorce.
Debunking the Myths About Prenuptial Agreements
There are many unfair myths about prenuptial agreements. These myths can often discourage couples from signing a prenuptial agreement that can add value to their marriage.
Some of the most common myths about prenuptial agreements include:
- Prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy. This is one of the most common myths about prenuptial agreements. Just because wealthy individuals often have more tangible assets to protect, it doesn’t mean that people of more modest means can’t benefit from having a prenuptial agreement in place. Many people have personal property and assets, whether it’s a home, a car, savings accounts, or stocks and investments that they want to protect in the event of a divorce.
- Prenuptial agreements are only for people who have been married before. This is another common myth about prenuptial agreements. While they are commonly associated with second marriages, prenuptial agreements can also benefit first-time newlyweds. If you have student loans, credit card debt, or other financial obligations you want to keep legally separate from your spouse in the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can protect your interests.
- Prenuptial agreements are only for people who don’t trust their spouses. While it’s true that prenuptial agreements can provide protection in the event of a divorce, they can also be beneficial for couples who want to establish financial ground rules for their marriage. If you and your spouse are on the same page about your finances, a prenuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and avoid potential arguments down the road.
Trust an Experienced Attorney to Help With Your Prenuptial Agreement
These are just a few of the most common myths about prenuptial agreements. If you’re considering creating a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to do your research and speak with an experienced Tulsa family law attorney to ensure that you understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of such an agreement. While prenuptial agreements are not suited for everyone, they can be a valuable tool for protecting your interests in the event of a divorce. Consult with an attorney to ensure that your agreement is valid and enforceable. If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements or need assistance drafting or reviewing an agreement, contact an experienced Tulsa family law attorney today.