Marriage is a huge milestone for couples all over the world. It is the union of two people who will move on to hopefully live the rest of their lives together. Although marriage is a cause for celebration, it is also very time consuming due to the huge amount of preparation involved. One of the things many people do when getting married is create a prenuptial agreement or contract. This can also be called a premarital agreement. All the property each person owns, all their debts and all their property rights after marriage are listed in the agreement. It is usually completed before the couple is married. In the past, prenuptial agreements garnered a high society reputation because they were often used to protect the assets of wealthy fiancés; however, in recent years, more and more people are turning to prenups to protect more than just their spouse after death. They allow property to flow to whomever the deceased spouse has chosen rather than going straight to the surviving spouse.
In the case that a couple does not complete a prenup and they divorce, or a spouse passes away, it is possible that property (shared or not) may not be split fairly. If a prenup was never completed but the couple now has predominantly shared property, it is almost always split fifty-fifty yet can be different based on separate state laws. If a spouse passes away and the couple never completed a prenup, it becomes much easier for creditors to tack on a spouse’s previous debts to the surviving spouse; however, with a prenup, spouses are allowed to decide how income and debts are handled within the marriage after divorce or death.
Prenuptial agreements are multifaceted, covering a very wide range of issues that seem hard to solve when first getting married. Many people worry about keeping their good credit when marrying someone with bad credit. Completing a prenup can help ease these worries. When marrying, your separate debts and credits remain separate, but the debt and credit—which you both had to sign for when creating joint accounts—you acquire throughout the marriage will remain with you after a divorce or the passing of a spouse. Based on state “community property” laws, even debt acquired by your spouse alone may become your debt as well if it was purchased in benefit to the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can help greatly with this because it allows partners to specify which debts apply to whom.
A prenuptial agreement may end up being an opportunity for partners to reconsider the decision to marry at that time in their lives. It allows for a thorough discussion—together—about financial position and property. If a partner does not have good credit or is not financially stable, it may be a good idea to hold off on marrying until they are ready. Prenups help to organize property rights and debt of each partner and may end up helping a couple through divorce or the passing of their spouse.
The Holman Law Firm is committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL, in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We specialize in Fathers’ Rights and will be there every step of the way to fight for your rights. Contact us now for a free consultation at our office or go online at www.holmanfirm.com.