Family Law: 3 Things To Know About Prenups

Posted on: 7 September 2015


A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup, is a legal document that helps to protect your finances and personal property, as well as that of your future spouse. While completely optional, the prenup is recommended in many cases. Whether you want one to protect your current financial status, or you and your spouse both simply want that extra security before getting married, here are some things you should know about prenuptial agreements.

The Purpose of a Prenup

There are a few different benefits of a prenuptial agreement. Contrary to what people believe, it is not meant to just protect one person in the marriage. Each person likely has their own assets they would like to retain if the marriage doesn't work out, which is often the biggest reason to get one. When you get a prenup, each spouse defines the financial rights, including what each of their personal assets are.

You can choose to keep these assets when you divorce if you like, though you can definitely change your mind during the divorce. However, if you have assets not included in the prenup, you might lose some of them during the divorce proceedings.

A prenup can also include information about what assets go to your children should you get divorced, as well as what assets go to them if one spouse passes. For example, you might want only your children to get certain financial assets if you get divorced, which is possible when you write up a prenup.

What Happens if You Don't Have a Prenup

There are also some consequences of not having one that you should also be aware of. By knowing the potential consequences, you are able to make that final decision about whether or not to get one. One thing to keep in mind is that if you divorce after a certain period of time and did not have a prenup, you might lose some of your assets, including financial assets and property you owned prior to marrying. It could also cause your spouse to retain assets that you would prefer go to your children.

Another thing to think about is that you might also end up with your spouse's debt if you don't sign a prenup that keeps your debt separate. You might also not have to pay a large amount in alimony if your prenup states otherwise.

Why You Need Legal Assistance

Writing a prenup can be a complicated process if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of one. Getting a lawyer, like those at Topalian & Associates, to help you not only makes sure it is in the best interest of you and your future spouse, but it also ensures it is done correctly. The lawyer will have knowledge of your financial status so they will make sure all the important items are included.