Engaged couples might not understand the purpose of a prenuptial agreement, but a discussion with a local attorney could clarify what a prenup can do and how it could benefit your impending marriage.
Having a candid conversation about financial matters now could save you and your future spouse a lot of difficulties later. A Ballwin prenuptial agreements lawyer from our firm can tactfully guide you as you consider how you want to handle the financial aspects of your marriage. Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional.
Why You Should Consider a Prenup
When a spouse dies or a couple divorces, the law determines how their property is passed down or divided. Individuals can choose how to distribute their property after they die by writing a will containing their wishes. In the same way, a prenuptial agreement allows a couple to choose how to distribute their property and handle other financial issues if their marriage ends.
Oftentimes, both you and your fiancé both come to your marriage with property. After marriage, you and your spouse will create marital property and marital debts. The court will try to divide marital property equitably in the event of a divorce and it will try to award pre-marital property to the person who came into the marriage with property. Preserving pre-marital property during a marriage requires a lot of careful planning and most people do not take the correct steps for preservation. A court could deem pre-marital property as marital property in a divorce. What seems equitable under the law might be unfair to the people involved. A prenup allows you to decide what is equitable under your specific circumstances.
Some situations make having a prenup advisable: when either party enters the marriage with substantial property; when one or both of you will inherit substantial assets; when one or both of you have children; or when either of you owns a business or an interest in a family business. A Ballwin attorney from our firm could craft a prenuptial agreement that suits your unique circumstances.
Requirements for an Enforceable Prenup
Although the law does not define what makes a prenup enforceable, the court considers several factors when determining whether to uphold one.
Prenups must be written and signed by both you and your spouse. To change a prenup once you are married, you must either make the changes in writing or create another agreement, called a postnuptial agreement.
Each party must provide the other with a complete picture of their financial position before signing the agreement. The disclosure should include income, assets, debts, and future obligations.
Voluntary and Free of Coercion
You and your spouse must willingly enter the prenup; if either of you felt undue pressure to sign the agreement, a court could find it unenforceable.
Some ways to show a signature was voluntary include:
- Conducting discussions about the agreement well before the wedding
- Giving both parties ample time to discuss the agreement with their personal lawyers
- Providing opportunities to revise the agreement based on feedback from attorneys
The court may invalidate an agreement if one spouse introduced the idea soon before the wedding and did not allow the other sufficient time to decide whether to sign the agreement.
The judge will not enforce an agreement that is notably unfair—an unconscionable agreement. While prenups commonly favor one party over the other, a prenup does not need to describe an even exchange. However, the party who gives up rights must get some benefit from it. If a prenup leaves one spouse in much better circumstances than they would have been without it and leaves the other in a much worse position, the court might void the agreement.
Couples may not include provisions regarding child custody or child support in a prenup: Decisions regarding children must support their best interests at the time the parents separate.
Do not hesitate to contact an attorney from our firm for answers to more questions about the requirements for an enforceable prenuptial agreement in Ballwin.
Speak With a Ballwin Prenuptial Agreements Attorney From Our Firm
Some believe a prenuptial agreement suggests divorce is on the horizon for a couple who is not even married yet; in reality, any couple who wants a say in how a court might divide their property in the case of a divorce could benefit from such an agreement.
When you and your fiancé are considering a prenup, reach out to our committed Ballwin prenuptial agreements lawyers. We will answer all your questions and help you create an enforceable agreement that protects you and your marriage. Call Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to get started.