Prenuptial Agreement Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about prenuptial agreements? Do you need to know more about process of creating a prenuptial agreement? Are unsure if you need a lawyer?
Our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide answers to the most common prenuptial agreement questions asked by clients. Please select a category to narrow your FAQ search.
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Can a Prenuptial Agreement be Modified After Marriage?
After the date of your marriage, you can make new agreements, though not by amending your prenuptial (premarital) agreement.
New agreements would be in the legal document known as a post-marital (post-nuptial) agreement. A post-marital agreement requires similar disclosures so you and your spouse will need to exchange full and current financial disclosures with each other.
So long as you have not mixed your inheritance funds with family funds/expenses, you should have no trouble categorizing it as separate property. However, if upon receiving the inheritance, you bought a new family home using proceeds from the sale of a prior home combined with part of the inheritance, you need to carefully find out where all of the funds came from and what you intend to happen to them in the event of a divorce. This ‘comingling’ and ‘tracing’ are some of the most expensive and most litigated matters in family law. A post-marital agreement will identify the inheritance and manage the expectations of both spouses. This saves emotions and finances for you and your spouse.
Please know that there is a higher standard in preparing a post-marital agreement than a pre-marital (pre-nuptial) agreement because at the time of a post-marital agreement you are already married and you owe each other a fiduciary duty due to the marriage relationship. Prior to the marriage, you can always decide not to get married. Once you are married, new agreements need to be fair for both spouses under their circumstances.
Discussions with your spouse about new agreements for a post-marital document can be tough. However, if your marriage is strong, now is the time to address these concerns with your spouse so unintended consequences don’t haunt you and your family in the future.
It is best to sign a Premarital AND Postmarital Agreement?
Yes, a premarital agreement is the contract you enter into before you are married. A Postmarital Agreement is also signed by both you and your fiancé after you are married. A Postmarital Agreement reconfirms after the marriage all of the agreements you made in the Premarital Agreement. This eliminates the proverbial “I signed under duress”, or the typical, he or she “made” me do it.
What is a Property Agreement Between Spouses?
A property agreement between spouses is a document that you sign within 30 days after marriage. This document ratifies or confirms your premarital agreement, but it’s also important to know that if you do not sign the property agreement within 30 days after marriage, it does not nullify or void your previously signed premarital agreement.
Are Premarital Agreements Only For The Wealthy?
Many people think that premarital agreements, (also known as prenuptial agreements) are only for the wealthy. That is not necessarily true. A Premarital Agreement will protect whatever wealth you have accumulated prior to marriage AND what is acquired during the marriage.
Some people feel that a premarital agreement is setting a marriage up for failure. That is not the case either. It will protect your spouse from debts that may accrue during the marriage. So it is a protection both for assets AND liabilities. We recommend that EVERYONE have a premarital agreement.
For more information on Premarital Agreements, contact us online or by phone at 214.559.7202.
Can you get a Prenuptial Agreement after you are married?
No, you cannot get a Prenup (also called a Premarital Agreement) after you are married. You CAN get what is called a Postmarital Agreement. You can enter into a Postmarital Agreement any time after marriage. It is a contract between you and your spouse on how things such as, assets, businesses & debts are going to be handled moving forward.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is defined as a written contract between a couple who is about to marry, which establishes the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings and control of the property, but most importantly, it spells out how everything will be divided if the marriage was to end.
Why should I get a prenuptial agreement?
There are numerous benefits associated with a prenuptial agreement:
- It puts the power of property settlement in your hands, instead of to the court.
- It makes the business portion of the divorce (separation of assets, property, etc.) much easier to handle & the legal fees are much less.
- It protect any personal businesses from becoming community property or from a spouse receiving voting rights or becoming a shareholder in the business.
- It can even protect you from creditors. For example, if your spouse came into the marriage with a lot of debt, a prenuptial agreement will protect you from being pursued by his/her creditors. The last thing you would want to deal with following a divorce is having your spouse’s creditors harassing & threatening you.
My fiancé wants me to sign a prenuptial agreement because his family is worried that if he inherits their money, I will get it. What should I do?
A prenuptial agreement often protects the rights of both parties. You can participate in the creation of a prenuptial agreement so that provisions are made for your own well being should your marriage terminate in divorce.