Nobody wants to go into a marriage with a divorce in mind but planning ahead can save a couple money during a divorce and can streamline the process, saving agonizing months of legal bureaucracy.
Prenuptial agreements are designed to help high- and mid-income earners protect their assets during a divorce. Not only does it protect assets, but liabilities can also be legally portioned off to one individual with any assets they may bring to the marriage.
Dividing property in a divorce is largely left up to the laws of the state in which the couple is divorcing. A prenuptial agreement defines how property is to be divided. This can include how ownership of some assets acquired during a marriage are to be decided. It can also secure an estate or other assets for one of the spouses’ children (if they had children prior to marriage). Without a prenuptial agreement, much of this could be decided by the courts during divorce proceedings.
It can be a valuable tool if one spouse plans on being a stay-at-home parent. If the couple divorces, there may be heated arguments on proper alimony payments. A prenuptial agreement can establish a base to which both sides must adhere. This can speed up the process and make it much less painful for both parties.
When will a prenuptial agreement not work?
A prenuptial agreement cannot make determinations on what child custody will be. When the time for divorce comes, the courts will make final decisions on contested child support issues. Individuals cannot use these agreements to avoid having to pay child support. As in child custody, the courts will be involved in calculating the amount of payment the other parent will have to pay for child support.