Prenuptial Agreements: A Logical Need In Many Situations
A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, as it is more commonly referred to, is an agreement that typically covers the financial implications of an ended marriage. It basically spells out the financial obligations of both the husband and the wife in the event they decide to mutually end their married relationship. A prenuptial contract clearly describes how the two sides will split their financial assets, their physical assets and their financial obligations and liabilities if the marriage ends in a divorce. Each state, of course, has its own set of divorce laws that cover many of these same issues. However, quite often couples find that such laws are too generic for their situations and prefer drawing up a more customized prenuptial contract for their specific requirements.
A prenuptial agreement can be especially vital in certain situations. For example, when one partner is significantly wealthier than the other, a prenuptial contract can ensure that the marriage is not being motivated by money. Similarly, if one partner earns a lot more than the other, a prenuptial agreement can be used to limit child support or other payments. Sometimes, individuals who are remarrying, use such contracts to ensure that children from the current marriage and those from the previous one get their fair share of any inheritances that might need to be distributed upon that individual’s passing. These are by far, not the only situations were marriage contracts make sense. Situations in which one partner has a high debt load, or where one spouse may be part-owner of a business for instance, also can benefit from a prenup.
As with any contract, prenuptial agreements too have their limitations. For instance, such contracts are not enforceable when it comes to issues such as child custody or child visitation. Nor can they address issues such as the religion in which to raise a child. Several states also allow courts to invalidate agreements relating to issues such as alimony or division of household duties, if the court feels that the contract unfairly favors one spouse over the other.