When entering into a marriage, it as much a financial contract as it is an emotional and spiritual one. The parties involved become interdependent on each other for housing, clothing, food and medical expenses. When one party is in a superior financial position upon entering the marriage, whether it be from a family business, inheritance or their own personal net worth, a valid prenuptial agreement can go a long way to prevent future headache should the marriage fail.
It is an uncomfortable discussion to have and certainly no person wants to start off a marriage insisting on the protection of their financial interests prior to saying “I do”, but it is the right discussion to have and it’s an important to discussion to have. It’s also equally important for the party in an inferior financial position entering the marriage to have some security and guarantees if the marriage were to go south. The last thing anyone wants is to be left on the streets with nothing because your marriage failed.
The Kirlew Law Firm has experience representing and protecting the interests of either party in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. The biggest factor in having a successful and equitable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is full disclosure. If the parties are honest with each other on what they own, how much they make and what assets they are seeking to protect, then the agreement will be more equitable and just.
The biggest difference is a prenuptial agreement is before the parties marry and a postnuptial agreement is done during the course of the marriage. But when it comes to how they are interpreted and enforced, generally speaking, a prenuptial agreement has more weight and the force of law behind its enforcement than a postnuptial agreement. The reason why a prenuptial tends to be stronger is because what the parties individually own or were worth is easily determined prior to marriage. Once the parties are already married, the waters get muddier and it becomes harder to determine how to separate and split the assets/debts. A forensic accountant may be needed to dig into the party’s finances, especially in high net worth couples. It’s advisable to obtain a prenuptial agreement, but a postnuptial agreement can go a long way in protecting both parties as well.
Protection! That’s the most important reason why anyone should get a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement; they want to protect their assets and the livelihood they’ve worked for. The other reason why it’s important to get a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is that it clearly details how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. It takes the guess work out of determining who will get the house, the stocks, bonds or bank accounts. Everything is already laid out for the parties and it helps make their divorce proceedings, if it happens, go much smoother.
Yes. But a property negotiated, drafted and executed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement usually will survive a challenge in court unless the party challenging the agreement ca show the following:
- The party challenging the agreement did not have competent representation at the time of entering into the agreement;
- The other party didn’t truthfully and completely disclose their assets and/or income;
- The party challenging the agreement was coerced into signing the document through fraud, misrepresentation or force.
- The agreement is so inequitable and unjust that is unenforceable as a matter of a conscience
- The party challenging the agreement lacked the mental capacity at the time to enter into the agreement;
- Any other evidence that can show that the agreement is invalid as a matter of law.
It is often the case that hiring a quality lawyer from the beginning is the best move any person can make when entering into a potentially complicated marriage. Get the advice you need and make sure that whatever agreement you sign is fair and just. Make sure that you have a professional who is protecting your interests and reviewing all relevant documents so you have full knowledge of the agreement before you sign it. Contact the Kirlew Law Firm to set up a no obligation consultation today.
Contact the Kirlew Law Firm at 305-521-0484