For couples who are deeply in love, the last thing in their minds would be divorce. Why would they divorce in the first place if they are happy and contented with their marriage? Being in love is one of the best things in this world, and all couples look forward to spending their lives in bliss.
But then, marriages aren’t always perfect. There will always be misunderstandings and conflicts at some point. Unfortunately, not all marriages also end up happily ever after. In the US, it is said that almost half of the marriages end up in divorce and hire divorce lawyers.
Dealing with family lawyers is just the beginning of a tedious, stressful, even emotional event in a family’s life. The soon-to-be-ex-couple may also have to deal with child support lawyers or spousal support lawyers to settle child custody, spousal support, and other related concerns.
Is a pre-nuptial agreement really important?
As mentioned, happily-married couples would not think about divorce in the first place. However, not all marriages end up happily. Embittered, even. So if you are planning to get married soon, you should not only think about the present but the future as well.
In the future, it should also include the things that you do not want to think about, including divorce. That is why it can be a good idea to have a pre-nuptial agreement, especially among soon-to-be-married couples. But the question is whether it’s necessary to have one.
What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
For starters, a pre-nuptial agreement refers to a written contract between two people who are about to get married. Also known as a “prenup”, it includes a lot of things including each spouse’s property rights once they get married. It should also include certain agreements that should take effect in case the couple does end up in divorce.
In other words, a pre-nuptial agreement is somehow protection for each couple in the event of a divorce. It is also a wise decision tool every married couple should have before getting married.
Contrary to popular belief, a prenup agreement isn’t only for celebrities and rich couples. A prenup is actually not only in the event of a divorce but also in the case of a spouse’s death. You and your spouse should talk about this and decide whether or not a prenup contract is a good decision for both of you.
What should be included in a pre-nuptial contract?
Having a pre-nuptial agreement is a decision you and your spouse should discuss carefully. Every couple has a different financial status but should be considered in the contract nonetheless. So, what can you include in a pre-nuptial agreement? Here are some important items you should put in those papers.
This should indicate each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the course of their marriage. This may include which spouse is responsible for their children’s education and who pays for the household bills, and so on.
Property and asset distributions
Each state has its respective laws regarding assets and property distributions in case of a divorce. But a prenup agreement can bypass those laws and should be agreed upon by both spouses.
A prenup agreement should also indicate the amount of monetary support the spouse will get in case of a divorce. The person who has a lower income than the other spouse is usually the one who gets qualified for spousal support. You can consult spousal support lawyers if you have further concerns about this.
What should not be included in a prenup agreement
On the other hand, some items should not be included in a prenup agreement. These include the following.
Child support and custody
The court has a stronger authority when it comes to determining what’s best for the children. A prenup agreement won’t be valid in terms of dictating who gets custody of their children.
Forfeiting alimony is prohibited and should not be included in a prenup agreement. It is every spouse’s right to get alimony from the other spouse as a way to preserve the former’s dignity despite their unfortunate divorce.
Any illegal activities
There should be no illegal activities (ex. drug involvement, forfeiting alimony or child support, etc.) included in the pre-nuptial contract and make the contract invalid.
Other personal matters
Where you will go on holidays, who does the household chores, and other personal family issues should not be included in the prenup contract anymore. The contract should only address any financial concerns and property distributions following a divorce.
If you are currently drafting a prenup agreement, you can consult trusted family lawyers in Fairfax VA.