Know the Basics of a Prenuptial Agreement and Protect Your Family

A prenuptial agreement is the written contract made by two people before marrying. Also known as a ‘prenup,’ it usually lists the properties you and your spouse-to-be own, along with any debts either party may owe. It also specifies the property rights of every person after marriage.

Do you need a prenup?

One of the common misconceptions about the prenuptial agreement is it is only for the wealthy. Although it is typically used to protect one’s assets and designed to favour the wealthy, it can also be tailored for every couple looking to protect their property and finances should their marriage end up in a divorce. Here are some reasons why you might need it:

• Clarify your financial rights – Whether you have children or not, and regardless of your social or financial status, the prenup could help clarify your financial responsibilities and rights while married.

• Protect yourself from debts – The prenuptial agreement can be used to protect both parties from one another’s debts. It may address other issues, too, depending on what the law permits.

• You have children from prior marriages, and you want to make them eligible to inherit your property – The prenup can indicate what will happen to your property when you pass away. Without it, the surviving spouse could have the right to a larger portion of your property, leaving less for the children.

• Save yourself from arguments during divorce – Your prenuptial agreement can be used as a precaution to avoid potential arguments should your marriage end up in a divorce. It may be best to specify how your property can be divided in advance, and whether or not one or both parties can get alimony.

How to make a valid prenup

The law has become welcoming to prenuptial agreements since these have become more common over the years. You need to make sure that yours is properly negotiated and written to look like a clear, concise, legally sound, and understandable agreement.

You can draft your prenuptial agreement, but be sure to have your lawyer review it or at least provide advice about it. You can also consult with experts on legal documents to draft your prenup.

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