Understanding the Pros & Cons of Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are increasingly becoming a legal necessity for partners who are engaged to get married. Contrary to popular belief, prenups are not just for the wealthy. People from all walks of life can benefit from having a prenuptial agreement in place. So, does it mean that everyone should get a prenup before marriage? Not necessarily.
It is crucial to understand the pros and cons of prenuptial agreements and know what a prenup can and cannot cover. At Lebovitz Law LLC, a family law attorney protects the legal needs of individuals and families in Towson and throughout Baltimore County in Maryland and York County in Pennsylvania.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a prenup, is a contract signed between people who intend to enter into marriage. A prenup spells out how the partners’ property and finances will be divided when the marriage ends due to divorce or death of one of the spouses. Before signing the agreement, it is important to understand what a prenup does and does not cover.
Typically, a prenuptial agreement can include provisions regarding:
- The right to property owned before the marriage
- The right to property acquired during the marriage
- The partners’ debts acquired before and during the marriage
- The right of children from previous marriages to inherit property
- The division of property upon divorce or death
- Other provisions agreed upon by the partners
There are certain limitations to what prenuptial agreements can cover. Some of the provisions a prenup cannot contain include:
- Waivers of child support or alimony
- Provisions regarding child custody or visitation
- Provisions regarding the partners’ personal matters
- Anything prohibited by law
If you cannot decide if you should get a prenuptial agreement, you can seek legal counsel to discuss your particular situation. A skilled attorney will help you understand the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement based on the circumstances and facts of your case. Even if you create a prenuptial agreement but later decide to change its terms, you can modify the agreement as long as you and your spouse agree to the changes.
What Are the Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Some of the most prominent advantages of having a prenuptial agreement include:
- It helps you protect what is rightfully yours. One of the main benefits of creating a prenup is that it provides protection and ensures that you do not lose what is rightfully yours in the event of divorce.
- It helps distinguish between separate and marital property. A prenup can be used to identify the assets and property that the partners owned before the marriage. By drawing clear boundaries, you can make the property distribution process easier if your marriage ends in divorce.
- It gives you and your future spouse the opportunity to disclose your assets and debts. When discussing the details of a prenuptial agreement, future spouses can have an open and honest conversation about their finances.
These are not the only pros of a prenuptial agreement. You can contact an experienced attorney to discuss how you can benefit from creating a prenup in your particular case.
What Are the Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Aside from the advantages of a prenuptial agreement, it is also vital to consider the potential drawbacks of a prenup:
- It can create distrust. Not everyone sees prenuptial agreements in a positive light. That is why bringing up the idea of a prenuptial agreement might create distrust between the partners.
- It is not foolproof. While a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable tool to protect your assets, do not think that a prenup is a legal remedy for everything. A prenup may not provide the desired protection if your partner is not upfront about their finances or the agreement is not prepared by a competent and knowledgeable attorney.
- It may favor only one spouse. It is not uncommon for partners to take advantage of their future spouse’s lack of legal knowledge to create a prenup that favors them but not their spouse. That is why it is advisable to seek legal assistance when drafting—and before signing—a prenup.
Guidance for You and Your Family
If you are considering drafting a prenuptial agreement, you need to understand the pros and cons of a prenup. A family law attorney at Lebovitz Law LLC assists individuals and families with the preparation of prenups tailored to their specific needs, goals, and circumstances. If you are in Towson, Maryland, or surrounding areas, receive guidance from a knowledgeable attorney by reaching out to Lebovitz Law LLC.