Prenuptial agreements can provide a variety of different protections and benefits to couples who are entering a marriage. Because of the possible benefits of a prenuptial agreement, it is worth couples considering and understanding what a prenuptial agreement can do for them.
How a prenuptial agreement can help couples
Prenuptial agreements serve a variety of important purposes in addition to protecting the wealth of one of the spouses which is the purpose they are most commonly known for including:
- Asset protection for both spouses;
- Protect each spouse from the debts of the other;
- Clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage;
- Specify how property should be passed if one of the spouses dies; and
- Avoid long and costly divorce disputes if the couple decides to divorce at some point.
The potential impact of not having a prenuptial agreement
Without a prenuptial agreement, it is likely that state laws will determine how property and debts are divided if the couple divorces. Other potential impacts of not having a prenuptial agreement include:
- Both spouses will share and receive ownership of property acquired during marriage;
- Both spouses will share in debts acquired during the marriage;
- Each spouse will receive some of the other spouse’s property if they die; and
- Both spouses will share in the management of property acquired during the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can help clarify the wishes of the party should they decide to divorce and give them greater control over the property division process. There are important requirements associated with an enforceable prenuptial agreement which is why couples entering a marriage should understand what a prenuptial agreement can potentially do for them, what those requirements are and the resources available through the family law system.