Prenuptial Agreements – A Plan for Marriage

Updated:5/14/2024
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One of the best ways to protect your property rights and your personal assets is to create a pre-marriage contract or a Prenuptial Agreement. A marriage contract is an agreement between two people traditionally before they get married, identifying property rights and personal belongings to the individuals. Prenuptial agreements are a great way to plan ownership of valuable items purchased before or post becoming married.

What are the Goals of a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are several goals of a prenuptial agreement. These can include:

  • Prenuptial Agreements decide each individual’s property rights and value before a divorce or separation in an amicable way when both parties are happy to coordinate.
  • Marriage contracts are based on civil law. This means both the individual and the law must abide by the instructions yielded in the prenuptial agreement.
  • Prenuptial Agreements are a good source for couples to reach mediation, and both partners must be satisfied with the outcome.
  • Outside of divorce or separation, marriage contracts are also helpful in the event of your spouse passing.
  • A marriage contract allows you to give property and accumulated income directly to your spouse without state intervention.
  • Prenuptial Agreements are an excellent test for both parties to discuss important financial situations candidly.

Is There a Deadline or Best Time to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

The timing of a prenuptial agreement is essential. The critical thing to remember is the validity of the premarital agreement. The closer your wedding date comes, the more issues you could potentially have while enforcing the contract. For example, if your spouse springs a prenuptial agreement on you the night before your out-of-town guests arrive and tell you, “Without signing this, we will not be getting married,” there is a good chance the courts will invalidate your prenuptial agreement.

To have an enforceable prenuptial or pre-marriage contract, you will want to avoid signing it at the last minute. You will also want to spend those last few weeks leading up to your wedding focused on the celebrations and the fact that your friends are in town. It is recommended finishing it well before the wedding, which means getting started early in the engagement process.There’s no set deadline, but you want to avoid a situation where someone could later say they had to sign it under duress. It is essential to clarify that you should not sign something under pressure with the anticipation it will get thrown out later.

What to do if only your Partner refuses to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement? Is there anything you can do?

One option, of course, is not to get married- however, there may be another answer you seek. But another option is to consider your estate planning and what steps you can take to protect yourself well before the marriage.So, you want to see an estate planning attorney understand what your state allows you to do to structure your assets and how you hold them to ensure you’re best protected. You also want to be careful about how you’re titling things. For example, if you inherit assets from a family member and then you put those assets in a joint name with your spouse, you may have lost the opportunity to protect those assets as your separate property.Additionally, you’ll want to get advice from an estate planning attorney before the wedding to see what can be done. Some states, for example, allow you to create an irrevocable trust that is for your benefit that would give your assets some better protection.

Yonatan Levoritz
ByYonatan Levoritz

With his commitment to sharing knowledge and empowering individuals, Yonatan Levoritz serves as a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand legal matters more deeply. In addition to his informative blog posts, he also produces educational videos on YouTube, where he shares valuable insights and expertise.

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