When it comes to setting the stage for a healthy marriage, establishing a marital agreement might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement could be extremely beneficial for you, your family, and your relationship. Whether you’re already married or planning to become married, these legally binding documents can help you establish clear expectations, protect your individual interests, and even protect your children.
Before you make any rash decisions, learn more about the ways in which a marital agreement could prove beneficial.
1. Encourages Open Communication
If you decide to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you and your spouse, or soon-to-be-spouse, will need to sit down and discuss your expectations and assets openly. In doing so, you can open the lines of communication, discussing topics you might not have spoken about before. You and your significant other can talk about how you wish to handle your assets, property rights, debts, and other aspects pertaining to properties or finances. In some cases, this might even change the ways in which you join your assets in your marriage. At the very least, it can help you discuss a few important issues you might not have otherwise brought up.
2. Sets Clear Expectations
When you and your partner talk through your legal and financial expectations, it makes it much easier for the two of you to understand where you’re each coming from and where you’re going. If one of you wants to pay off certain debts early and the other doesn’t, you can set goals and make your expectations clear from the beginning. Also, if you wish to handle property ownership a certain way, or business assets, you can make those rules clear with one another before it can become an issue.
3. Protects Individual Assets
Each person has their own set of assets they bring into the marriage. Whether one person has a car collection, a small inheritance, or valuable family heirlooms, it is important to protect those assets in whatever way you see fit. In your marital agreement, you can set out restrictions when it comes to certain assets in properties, that way if you ever do go your separate ways, your assets are still protected. This can be especially important to wealthy individuals or business owners who wish to keep their business separate from their marital assets. If a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not establish this, your business could be subject to division in a divorce or separation.
4. Preserves Your Children’s Interests
If you enter your marriage with children from another relationship, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement could help preserve their interests if your marriage should end. Inheritances or assets could be secured so that your children will not lose anything if you and your spouse divorce.
Also, married couples might establish postnuptial agreements to make a parenting plan for the future, if they should ever need it. Tensions can be extremely high in a divorce, and for some couples, it may give them peace of mind to know that they have a firmly established parenting plan to rely on if the worst should happen. That way, if the parents do get a divorce, they have a custody agreement based on mutual understanding and careful planning.
If you think a marital agreement could benefit you and your family, our firm can help. Contact K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. today to discuss your case with our family law attorneys.