A prenuptial agreement (often referred to as a prenup) is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of a couple’s financial arrangement in the event of divorce or death. While it may not seem like the most romantic topic, it is an important step to take before getting married.
If you are considering a prenup, it is important to understand what should be included in the agreement. Here are some common elements:
1. Division of assets and debts: This is perhaps the most important part of a prenup. It outlines how marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce, including any assets or debts acquired during the marriage.
2. Spousal support: Also known as alimony, this section outlines whether either spouse will receive financial support from the other in the event of a divorce.
3. Inheritance: If one spouse has children from a previous marriage or other family members they wish to protect assets for, a prenup can specify how inheritance will be handled.
4. Business interests: If one or both spouses own a business, a prenup can outline how it will be valued and divided in the event of a divorce or death.
5. Legal fees: A prenup can specify who will pay for legal fees in the event of a divorce.
6. Retirement accounts: A prenup can outline how retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, will be divided in the event of a divorce.
7. Joint accounts: If the couple has joint bank accounts or other joint assets, a prenup can specify how those assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or death.
It is important to note that a prenup cannot include terms related to child custody or visitation, as those decisions are made in the best interest of the child at the time of the divorce.
While it may seem uncomfortable to discuss these topics before getting married, a prenup can provide peace of mind and ensure that both parties are protected in the event of a divorce or death. It is important to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law to draft a thorough and legally sound prenup.