Let Indianapolis Prenup Lawyers Advise You in You Time of Need
Getting married is a time of joy and hope. Most couples are so busy with wedding planning that they may overlook one of the most crucial parts – a prenuptial agreement. While some couples treat prenup like a dirty word, it is actually part of smart financial planning for both parties. An experienced prenup lawyer may be able to remove the fear that signing a prenuptial agreement comes from a lack of faith in the marriage lasting forever. Aside from protecting both parties from losing assets obtained prior to marriage, it can also make things easier and less tense in the unfortunate event of divorce.
Call The Law Office of Deidra N. Haynes today at 317-982-7396 for answers to your prenuptial agreement questions.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document a couple drafts prior to getting legally married. It serves the basic purpose of determining how certain assets will be divided in the event of divorce. If one person comes into the marriage with significant property, assets, or monetary wealth, they may not want to share that with their one-day ex-spouse in a divorce since they earned that before the marriage. If one person has an inheritance from a relative, they may not wish to share that with an ex-spouse, which is another example of how a prenup can protect an individual’s interests. A prenuptial agreement is typically designed to protect property and assets obtained by either spouse before the marriage, but it can (and should) cover more than just the pre-marriage financial aspects.
What Should a Prenup Include?
A prenup should include several things in order to protect each person financially and ensure agreed-upon fairness on other matters. Aside from including what each party brings to the marriage and how it will be divided up in divorce, a prenup may also include the following information:
- What will be considered individual vs. marital assets, and how they will be divided.
- Who has ownership over certain family heirlooms or other pertinent artifacts.
- What property and assets may be passed to children from previous marriages.
- How marital debt will be handled.
- Roles and responsibilities of each party within the marriage.
- Violations of the marriage that one or both parties deem cause for divorce or nullifying certain prenup agreements, such as agreeing that proven infidelity would nullify alimony.
There may be other stipulations a couple can add to their prenup based on the specifics of their situation and wishes. It’s important to have the conversation about what should go in the prenup early enough to discuss it with prenup lawyers before the marriage license is signed.
Do I Need a Prenup Lawyer?
With all the hustle and bustle leading up to the wedding, some couples may be tempted to write a rushed prenup on a piece of paper and hope that it stands up later in a divorce. In most states, prenups are only official in a court of law if they were created with legal counsel and through the appropriate legal channels. A prenup lawyer will be able to help clients create a legally binding document they can rely on in the event of divorce.
Aside from not seeking legal counsel to make the prenup official, another big mistake couples make is creating a “non-equitable” prenup agreement. This happens when the prenup is not reasonably fair to both parties and clearly favors one spouse more than the other for an inequitable distribution of property and assets. A prenup of this nature is unlikely to hold up later in a court of law. In an effort to avoid such a situation, most states recommend each party has their own legal counsel when drafting the prenuptial agreement. The use of individual prenup attorneys helps ensure a more equitable plan of division while making the process less stressful. An experienced prenup lawyer will be able to answer any questions, act as a liaison for their client, and ensure all legalities are official.
Does a Prenup Expire?
In general, prenuptial agreements do not expire. However, some couples may choose to include a prenup clause in the document wherein the prenup is null after a certain length of the marriage, such as 10 years. If a prenup agreement has a specified nullification date, the state divorce laws will dictate the division of property and assets once the couple has been married long enough to void the prenup. The fact that prenups do not expire is why many couples seek the help of prenup lawyers from the start as a way of protecting their future interests. A bad prenup can ruin a person’s financial future and cause them to lose valuable assets in a divorce.
Can I Make Changes to a Prenup?
While prenups do not expire, a couple may be able to make changes to their prenuptial agreement as circumstances change. For example, a couple may decide they no longer want the prenup at all, and they can have it legally nullified. If a couple would like to get rid of the prenup, an experienced prenup attorney will be able to assist them in the required steps. A couple may have new property or assets that they want to account for in the event of divorce. They may also have children after getting married, which can change how the couple would like to divide their property and assets. In order to change a prenup, couples can either add an amendment to the existing prenup or sign a new agreement to modify the terms of the previous agreement. In either instance, prenup lawyers should be consulted to ensure all legalities are covered so the changes hold up in a court later on.
Prenup Attorneys Here to Answer Your Questions
Marriage is a big step in life and deserves careful planning. Making sure a prenup agreement is in place makes sense for any couple. No longer just for the rich and elite, prenups are now a common part of planning for marriage. Find out how we can help you through the process, or amend your existing prenup by calling us at 317-982-7396 today.