Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

The beginning of a marriage is a time full of hope and excitement.  When a couple is just starting their life together, the last thing they want to consider is divorce.  However, in some circumstances it may be important for the parties to consider that exact scenario.  A prenuptial agreement is a contract that allows the parties to consider the possibility of divorce before they are married.  This contract allows the parties to decide how particular issues will be handled in the event they divorce.  There are several pros and cons to prenuptial agreements that you should consider before deciding to enter into one of these agreements.

One major pro for a prenuptial agreement is that it can address the division of particular assets the parties owned before marriage.  This is especially useful in the case where one of the parties is part owner of a family business.  A prenuptial agreement can provide that the other spouse agrees that he or she will not be entitled to any of the business in the case of divorce.  The downside to this, however, is if the other spouse works hard at the business for many years during the marriage.  In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, he or she may have been awarded a portion of the value of the business, but the prenuptial agreement will override that default marital property division.

Another pro of a premarital agreement is that the parties can specify who is responsible for which pre-marital debt.  The agreement can state that each spouse will be responsible for a particular debt or particular sum in the event of divorce.  However, a prenuptial agreement cannot bind a creditor who is not a party to the agreement.  For example, a prenuptial agreement can state that the husband will be responsible for all of his credit card debt. However, if the wife’s name is then added to that account after the marriage, the prenuptial agreement cannot stop the credit card company from pursuing the wife for payment of the debt if the husband defaults.

One major area that a prenuptial cannot address is child custody.  A prenuptial agreement cannot contain provisions pre-arranging which parent will have custody of the children or how visitation will be handled.  This is because all custody issues should be decided based on what is best for the children at the time of the divorce, which could be very different than the situation when the agreement was signed.

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you need to talk to an experienced attorney.  Call us today for a consultation to talk about your goals.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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