Our Attorneys Can Assist You with Prenuptial or Premarital Agreements and More.
When two people decide to marry, the last thing on their mind is the possibility of divorce. So if one of them suggests a premarital agreement, it may seem like a lack of faith in the relationship or their ability to resolve potential conflicts in the marriage. However, a more realistic view is for couples to understand that sometimes things do not work out as planned. In that case it is wise to have worked out an agreement ahead of time, when both parties can think clearly about the future.
Common Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement
Most often we see premarital agreements for two reasons. The first is an agreement to protect a specific asset or set of assets in the event of a divorce. An example of this may be someone is entering into a marriage with a retirement account that they have earned prior to the marriage and the party wants to ensure that the account remains their separate property.
The other common situation for prenuptial is where the parties want to decide how they split everything before the marriage should the marriage end in a divorce. In this case the parties may agree who should get what or how much or even to not have any community estate.
Regardless if you need a premarital agreement for one of these situations or not, at Merritt Law we will devise a premarital agreement that fits your specific needs and your specific situation. Our first meeting is to simply find out what you are trying to accomplish. We do not believe in a cookie cutter premarital agreement.
How to View a Premarital Agreement
When two people agree to have a premarital agreement, they are essentially setting the conditions for a potential separation and divorce. Rather than see that in a negative light, it can be viewed as a highly practical step that in many ways can actually benefit the marriage. When issues such as spousal maintenance and division of property are already decided, then each knows what the outcome will be if the marriage is not successful. This frees up energy to work on the marriage, rather than anticipate a divorce. With so many couples having dual careers and equal earning power, the modern marriage can reflect that fact that financial assets are a part of marriage just as in a the formation of a business agreement.
One Step in Preparing for Marriage
It may not seem as romantic as simply leaving to fate the outcome of a marriage, but a premarital agreement does not have to be a negative. Merritt Law has drafted many of these agreements for clients and knows how to facilitate the conversation in a way that honors the upcoming marriage, while staying grounded in legal and financial realities. Nor is this a case of a wealthy spouse wanting to deprive their wife or husband of any resources upon future divorce. The premarital agreement will have provisions for support just as in a divorce agreement, but those items will be decided ahead of time rather than in the heat of conflict.
While these agreements can put people’s minds at ease, it is also important to understand that when you sign a prenuptial agreement you are likely agreeing to give up rights that you would normally have without the agreement. It is important to understand those rights and make sure that both parties fully consent to the agreement.
Contact Us for Help
Please contact us at Merritt Law so that we can begin a discussion about your shared assets and how you would like to handle any potential trouble down the road. We are sensitive to your concerns to preserve harmony as you approach your wedding day, and will treat your premarital agreement with the respect it deserves.