When you are planning on getting married, the furthest thing on your mind is your marriage failing and getting divorced. Rather, you are excited at the prospect of starting your new life together as a married couple and spending the rest of your lives together. Unfortunately, the sad truth of the matter is a significant number of marriages end up in divorce.
Being prepared for every eventuality, including divorce, is something every couple should consider. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can provide peace of mind, if for any reason your marriage does not last. However, you do need to be diligent in ensuring the right items are included in order for the agreement to be a binding contract.
Items you will want in your prenuptial agreement could include:
1. Real Property – The agreement should clearly define what is matrimonial property and what is separate property owned prior to the marriage. If you own a house, you may wish to keep it separate or protect its value in the event of separation.
2. Savings and Investment Accounts – Any personal savings and investments you have prior to your marriage should be detailed in the agreement.
3. Financial Planning and Obligations While Married – You can put provisions in the agreement on how you, as a couple, intend to divide financial obligations, retirement, savings, and other essential aspects, such as who will be responsible for what bills, or how much each person is going to contribute.
4. Liability for Debts – The agreement can include debts incurred before the marriage to keep a “debt-free” individual free being held accountable for a portion of those debts during a divorce. Additionally, you may want to include specific language about debts incurred while married and who will be financially responsible for them.
5. Estate and Inheritance Property – If there are family heirlooms, antiques, or other items of value that are passed down from one generation to the next, these should be listed in the prenuptial agreement. If you expect to receive an inheritance or other property from a relative, you may want to include language that ensures these are not included in a divorce.
6. Support of Elderly Parents – If you are supporting your parents financially or allowing them to live in a home you own, you will want to include these in the agreement.
7. Child Support/Spousal Support from a Previous Marriage – If you have children or a formal spouse you are supporting, you will want to include the amount you pay in the agreement so that there is full disclosure.
8. Division of Property – You may be able to include a division or property clause that indicates how matrimonial property is to be divided should you get divorced.
Aside from these items, there are others some couples choose to include to specify their intentions, but these may not be legally binding during actual divorce proceedings. To learn more about prenuptial agreements or assistance in drafting and creating a legally binding contract, please feel free to contact Davies Law Firm at (613) 688-0462 today.