A recent survey conducted by a society of family law attorneys has shown prenuptial agreements among couples seeking to marry are on the rise. The survey was overseen by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and found that 63% of divorce attorneys noticed an increase in prenuptial agreements (or prenups for short) over the past three years. This has led many to believe that not only are prenups becoming increasingly popular, but they work to safeguard the financial future of married couples.
What Prenuptial Agreements Can Do
A prenuptial agreement is a formal contract which can be drawn up for a couple planning to marry. They determine how assets will be divided should a divorce occur in the future. If a spouse already possesses financial stability, property, savings or an inheritance, a prenuptial agreement can help provide an extra level of reassurance before entering marriage. It is also helpful if he/she has been previously married and wishes to ensure any assets accumulated over the years are safeguarded for any existing children’s inheritance.
A Financial Planning Tool to Protect Assets
Only certain assets can be included in your prenuptial agreement. They include savings, property, income and/or pensions, all of which are at risk of being split if divorce occurs. Only financial matters may be included within the agreement. It cannot be used to make arrangements for any children. Laws are specific and vary by state regarding these contracts. Property already owned by one party prior to the marriage can be subject to division if its value increases over the course of the union. Agreements may also cover which type of alimony or financial assistance will be provided in the event of a divorce. How inheritances and retirement plans are divided and who is responsible for taxes, among other provisions, are topics fully explored in prenups.
Safeguard Yourself if You Plan to Marry
Considering a prenup gives couples much to think about when they consider what should be included. Every situation is different and a skilled attorney can help make sure all important details are covered. Many consider prenuptial agreements to be for the wealthy or those possessing many assets. They are also considered pessimistic and an admission that the marriage is doomed to fail. Others, however, see them as an important part of protecting their and their family’s assets. If drafting a prenup is an action one is considering, a consultation with an attorney should be scheduled immediately.
Marriage is a contract between two people and there are thousands of municipal, state and federal laws that pertain to it. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, call the law office of Barrera, Sanchez & Associates, P.C. at (956) 287-7555.