Prenuptial Agreements

Creating and Contesting Prenuptial Agreements Under the Law

Creating a prenuptial agreement is a legally sound means for exempting certain kinds of property and assets from being considered marital property. Additionally, if you have been married before and have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can reinforce and supplement your estate plan by clearly indicating the claims and financial rights your heirs have should you pass away. This can facilitate the probate process and prevent your new spouse from assuming control of your assets and preventing your children from another marriage from receiving their inheritance. If either spouse owns a business or has substantial debt, a prenuptial agreement can prevent the mingling of assets or assumption of liability should bankruptcy occur during divorce.

Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements — Protecting Your Interests

A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the interests of both spouses should they divorce. While not exhaustive, a prenuptial agreement can be used for the following:

  • Identify premarital debts that are to be kept separate
  • Eliminate or reduce alimony in the likelihood of divorce
  • Identify property that will be kept separate from marital property, including retirement funds, investments, heirlooms, or trust funds
  • Protect profits from a closely held business or intellectual property rights

The Limits of a Prenuptial Agreement

While a prenuptial agreement can be used to protect your assets and property, if the court believes it is unduly prejudicial or unfair, it may not be approved by the court. For example, if a prenuptial agreement places an undue burden on one spouse should divorce occur, the court may ask that it be revised. Additionally, if one spouse refuses to disclose his or her financial situation prior to the finalization of a prenuptial agreement or refuses to let his or her fiancée review a draft copy, its terms may not be enforceable. Finally, child support obligations cannot be discharged through a prenuptial agreement.

Contact Premarital Agreement Attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers

There are a number of financial and legal issues to consider before entering into a prenuptial agreement. Regardless of whether you're being asked to sign a prenup or have questions about how to create one, contact family law attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.