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What You Must Know About Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptual Agreement Definition

A Prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that protects both spouses in the event of separation or divorce. These agreements are made before marriage so that the interests of both spouses are protected should the marriage end. Many people wrongly assume that prenuptial agreements are only for the very wealthy. Prenuptial agreements are a contract for any couple that gets married, regardless of their current financial situation. Couples should remember that their financial and living situation may change quickly.

Although both spouses may enter the marriage with certain assets, those assets can fluctuate greatly over the length of a marriage.These legally binding contracts can protect the financial and property interests of either spouse. Prenuptial agreements can even cover which spouse would be responsible for certain debts incurred before and during the marriage.

In addition, a prenuptial agreement can cover spousal support issues such as compensation for stay at home moms. However, a judge can over rules issues of alimony should the judge find that the amount is unfair or unrealistic for either party.

These legally binding contracts are usually upheld by the courts. However, there are some things that prenuptial agreements are not allowed to cover. In the event that a prenuptial agreement contains anything illegal, the contract will be invalidated.

In addition, the contract may be void if it is found that either party signed it under duress. The courts will want to be assured that both parties willing signed and understood the contract. There are some things that prenuptial agreements cannot cover.

For example, custody and visitation rights do not belong in the contract. In addition, issues related to the raising of children, such as religion, cannot be covered. Anything that is illegal must also be left out of the contract. In many cases, items that should not be covered, that are included in the prenuptial agreement, can nullify the entire contract. The best way for couples to avoid this, is to have the contract prepared by an attorney specializing in prenuptial agreements in their state of residence.

Because so many marriages end in divorce, prenuptial agreements have become a way for spouses to protect themselves. However, many prenuptial agreements contain a clause that negates the agreement should the marriage last a certain length of time.

In that case, the couple would have to come to a new agreement. By having a prenuptial agreement in place before marriage, both spouses can be assured that they are protected in the event of divorce. While marriage is a union of love, it is also a union of finances.

A prenuptial agreement assures individuals that everything they have worked for, before and during the marriage, will be protected. In addition, if either spouse should stay at home to raise the children, their financial welfare would be protected by the prenuptial agreement.

In essence, a prenuptial agreement protects both spouses in the event of separation or divorce. Both spouses should carefully consider their needs realistically and assess the contract as if divorce is a possibility.

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