Most contractual agreements tend to be complex and matters surrounding contract disputes are often contentious. This is often especially true in disputes involving contracts made by two individuals prior to legally marrying. Prenuptial agreements are readily used by individuals that plan to marry who wish to protect and retain ownership of assets brought to a marriage. While the basic principles of a prenuptial agreement may seem simple enough, if not properly drawn up and executed, disputes over the validity of a prenup can result in a judge ruling to invalidate the agreement.
Most individuals wouldn’t enter into any type of partnership without some sort of contract. It makes sense, therefore, that individuals who plan to marry may also choose to do so with the protection of a contract. Prenuptial agreements can be used to retain sole ownership of assets like property or a home. Such agreements can also benefit individuals who have a stake in a family-owned business, have children from a previous marriage or who have inherited assets.
In some cases, individuals who plan to marry may attempt to use a prenuptial agreement to encourage or discourage certain behaviors during a marriage. Such demands, however, are not enforceable and are seldom taken into consideration in a divorce settlement. Like all contracts, the terms and language included in a prenuptial agreement must adhere to specific state statues and laws.
Couples, who wish to establish a prenuptial agreement, would be wise to retain independent counsel. A family law and divorce attorney who handles prenuptial agreements and divorce matters can answer questions, provide advice and help ensure the terms of a prenup will be upheld in court.
Source: The Huffington Post, “A Premarital Agreement Primer,” Brad Reid, June 26, 2014