Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Why would I need one?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts that list out all of a person's assets and what the right of the person will be to those assets, in the event that the marriage would end. The difference between the two is that a prenuptial agreement is signed before a marriage, and a postnuptial is signed during a marriage. A person may have any number of motivations for wanting his or her significant other to sign this document.

One reason would be to avoid expensive legal action in the event of a separation. Divorce often ends up in a heated legal battle that last for a long time, draining couples of resources and valuable time. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement helps to smooth the process. An individual could also want to clarify the financial rights or responsibilities of each spouse during their marriage, so that if there are issues, they can refer back to the document.

If one of the individuals has children from another marriage, then getting a prenuptial can ensure that their personal property will pass on to their children after they die. Without this kind of contract, the surviving spouse could be entitled to the majority of their spouse's property. In addition, a person could get a marriage contract to protect themselves from any debt that the other might incur during the course of their marriage. If this is not in a place, then the government might expect that one spouse pays for the debt of the other.

Is a prenuptial or postnuptial right for me?

While a marriage agreement can be helpful for all people, it might be especially beneficial if you are in any of the following situations:

  • You own real estate or a business
  • You own more than $50,000 of assets outside of your real estate holdings
  • You earned more than a year's worth of retirement benefits or other employment benefits
  • Your salary is more than $100,000 per year
  • You plan to earn an advanced degree while your spouse is working
  • Your estate will go to someone besides your spouse after you die
  • You are much wealthier than your future spouse
  • You are receiving an inheritance

For further advice about your specific situation, then you should talk to Baton Rouge divorce attorney, Keith Friley, Attorney at Law. At my firm, we want to make sure that your rights are protected.

Draft your contract with a Baton Rouge lawyer at my firm!

Since the courts look at marriage contracts very closely before dividing the property, it is important that you do it in a way that the courts will recognize. There are some strict rules about what items you can put on a contract, and the language you should use. A prenuptial or postnuptial can deal with the division of property, debt responsibility, home ownership, dispute resolution, alimony, financial responsibility during the marriage, and the state law to which the contract will be held. It could also include a "sunset clause", which negates the contract after the couple is married the number of years that they designate on the document.

These types of agreements are not allowed to specify things such as the custody or visitation of children, child support, or anything that might encourage a divorce. In some states, the court can invalidate any alimony specifications if it is thought to be unfair to one of the spouses. It is always important to research the laws of the state in which you are getting the marriage agreement before proceeding with drafting it.

For help in drafting a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement, you should contact Baton Rouge divorce lawyer, Keith Friley, Attorney at Law. My firm has over 30 years in assisting couples with any family law issues that they may have. I want to make sure that you are not taken advantage of in the future, so I will personally assist you through the process of putting together a valid contract that can serve you well in the event of a divorce or separation.

Contact my firm today for more information!