Prenuptial agreements, or pre-marital agreements, are an agreement done by couples prior to their marriage that contemplates what their financial arrangement will be in the event that they get a divorce. Although most couples planning to get married want to consider divorce, a Hamilton County prenuptial agreement could save some future worry and frustration.
When going into a marriage, you should have peace of mind that your property and assets are safe. A seasoned family lawyer could confirm that the agreement is enforceable by ensuring that there is full disclosure, that both parties are represented, and that the agreement is conscionable, which could be beneficial to both of your futures.
Typically, financial settlements or orders issued by the court in divorce cases are discretionary, as the court may have the discretion in setting a spousal support amount, dividing the marital estate, and more. Fortunately, a prenuptial agreement sets rules for those terms to take the discretion away from the judge and allow the parties to make those arrangements prior to having a hearing on divorce and having a judge make decisions on a divorce. For example, the agreement could ensure that the spouse who is not as financially secured has mechanisms for which they can become financially stable as a result. It also gives them certainty as opposed to allowing a judge to decide what they would be entitled to during a divorce.
If a couple goes through with filing an agreement that is unfair, it could lead the court to determine that the agreement is not enforceable, as Hamilton County prenuptial agreements must be fair and equitable. If they are not, a judge may not approve them at the time of filing, causing time and money lost for the couple. There must also be full disclosure of both of the individual’s assets. The spouse signing the prenuptial agreement could be giving up some of their financial rights, so each party must have full knowledge of what a prenuptial agreement has to offer. A skilled attorney could provide a full explanation of the financial disclosure requirement and ensure all assets are provided before filing.
To avoid possible mishandling of the agreement, both spouses should retain legal representation to file their agreements and confirm both parties are treated equitably in the event of a separation.
Future spouses may consider a pre-marital agreement for various reasons. Some of these include:
A couple may also utilize a prenup to require mediation or arbitration before going to court.
While a prenuptial agreement can address many issues, some terms may be later deemed invalid. For example, a judge could refuse to enforce terms relating to child custody or support. State law requires that any contractual provisions relating to children be assessed when the parents separate to determine if the terms are in the children’s best interests.
Additionally, even if both parties agreed within a pre-marital agreement to waive alimony, spousal maintenance terms that would leave one spouse impoverished may be deemed inequitable by a court. Someone with questions about what they can and cannot address in a pre-marital agreement is well-advised to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney in Hamilton County.
Marriage can be an exciting time, but perhaps less so when you are worried about how it might impact your financial situation. Prenups can effectively alleviate some concerns and provide stability as you enter a new phase in your life.
If you intend to marry and want to learn more about protecting your income and assets, call to speak with a Hamilton County pre-marital agreements lawyer. A practiced attorney could answer your questions and guide you through the complex process of negotiating and drafting a valid prenuptial contract.