Prenuptial agreements are a legal form of making clear what is yours and what is your potential spouse’s. Just because you are willing to share your life does not mean you are willing to risk everything you already own to do that.
While prenuptial agreements may seem unromantic, marriages do not survive on romanticism alone. A healthy dose of pragmatism can go a long way to making a marriage work. A prenuptial agreement plans for the reality that many marriages do not last.
What makes a good prenuptial agreement?
For your prenuptial agreement to stand up in court, it needs to meet a few basic conditions. Otherwise, it will be open to a challenge from your spouse should your marriage end. Here are some things to consider:
- Both of you must sign it: Verbal agreements count for little. You need a properly drafted legal document featuring the signatures of you and your spouse.
- You both sign it willingly: Sign this, or you will never see your children again is not a fair way to enter an agreement.
- It needs to be fair: The agreement should protect what you already own. You cannot use it to try to prevent your future spouse from ever leaving you.
- It needs to be legal: There are limits to what a prenuptial may cover. You cannot use one to try and predicate child support payments or custody arrangements.
Prenuptial agreements are especially vital if you already have children. They allow you to protect your child’s inheritance should you divorce. Like any legal contract, it is best to seek help when drafting one to ensure it will hold up if you need to use it.