Pre and Postnuptial Agreements Attorney in Owensboro, Kentucky
The prenuptial agreement may be the most misunderstood legal document there is. It evokes thoughts of a wealthy spouse leaving the other spouse impoverished should their marriage fail. On the contrary, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are intended to protect both spouses if the marriage ends in divorce. If you are considering a marital agreement or want to learn more about them, we can help.
At Evan Taylor Law Office PSC, we help clients in Owensboro, Henderson, Ohio County, Hancock County, and McLean County, Kentucky, craft enforceable marital agreements that will protect them. Having one is not a harbinger from the outset that the marriage will fail. It’s a safety precaution should that occur.
As the name suggests, prenuptial agreements are created and signed before the marriage begins. These contracts specify how assets and debts will be divided if the couple divorces or when one predeceases the other.
The prenuptial agreement can specify when the agreement takes effect, such as upon divorce, the death of a spouse, or in the event of either occurrence. It can address a spouse’s right to a pension, retirement, or to alimony. The agreement can also stipulate either spouse’s rights to sell, transfer, or otherwise transact business related to marital or separate property, as well as what happens to their property in the event of death or divorce.
A prenuptial agreement cannot stipulate issues related to child custody or child support. Those issues must be decided by the court.
Prenuptial agreements are signed by the couple before the marriage takes place but do not take effect until they are wed. If both spouses agree, a prenuptial agreement can be modified or revoked after it goes into effect. Both spouses would need to sign their consent to any amendments made to the agreement.
Postnuptial agreements are created and signed during the marriage. These contracts can address some of the same issues as a prenuptial agreement, but often come about to address assets and debts acquired during the marriage.
They can focus on issues that may arise in divorce or death, as well as circumstances that may affect property division. For example, a spouse may agree to a prohibition to certain assets should they be unfaithful, go to prison, or commit other behaviors during the marriage. They may also address the division of assets and debts should the couple separate while considering divorce.
As with prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements cannot decide matters involving child custody and child support. They can be modified at any time so long as both spouses agree to the revisions.
Who Should Have a Marital Agreement?
Pre and postnuptial agreements are not merely suitable for the wealthy. More and more couples are entering agreements to protect themselves, regardless of who earns more money or owns more assets.
Given the prevalence of second marriages and individuals marrying at older ages, which means they have accumulated more wealth on their own, marital agreements are used to protect property, assets, or businesses owned by one spouse prior to marriage. They can protect the legacy a spouse wants to leave for children from a previous marriage or relationship. They can also recognize the contribution a spouse makes to the marriage by staying home with children, protecting that spouse’s equal right to property should the couple divorce.
Why Are Marital Agreements Important?
The exercise of crafting a marital agreement forces a couple to engage in honest conversations about their priorities, their expectations, and their opinions about what is fair. These contracts delineate boundaries for the marriage but before divorce or the death of a spouse. Both know what happens, and that knowledge can provide peace of mind and a sense of protection during the marriage.
Is Hiring an Attorney Necessary?
As with any other contract, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must be enforceable in a court of law. If they are not, they are useless. They are also unenforceable if a spouse signs the agreement under duress or false pretenses. That is why you should work with a family law attorney experienced with drafting marital agreements in Kentucky.
If your fiancé or spouse is asking you to sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement which they have had a lawyer draft for them, you should not sign it until you have had an attorney, representing only you and your best interests, review the agreement.
Pre and Postnuptial Agreements Attorney Serving Owensboro, KY
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements should not be demonized. They can be useful tools that provide assurances and comfort that could keep a marriage together as easily as they direct what happens if it falls apart. At Evan Taylor Law Office PSC, we believe in the value of marital agreements. If you want to discuss marital agreements, call our office in Owensboro, Kentucky, today to schedule a time to visit.