Controlling Your Estate Through A Prenuptial Agreement
For many engaged couples, money and long-term financial goals are sensitive topics when discussing their future life. Often, couples tiptoe around the subject of a prenuptial agreement for fear of offending or upsetting their future spouse. But by removing the uncertainty of what would happen in a divorce, prenuptial agreements can actually promote a successful marriage. If you are considering one, the attorneys at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold in Richmond can guide you through the process.
A Legal Step To Establish Your Financial Rights
A prenuptial agreement, also called an antenuptial or marital agreement, defines how spouses will handle assets and debts in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse. The agreement becomes valid after the marriage takes place. While once thought of as something needed only by the wealthy, prenuptial agreements are now commonplace. A prenuptial agreement can especially benefit you if:
- You or your future spouse has a child from a previous relationship.
- You own a business.
- You own property.
- Either you or your future spouse plans to be a stay-at-home parent.
- There is a significant income disparity between you and your fiancé.
Eligibility And Enforcement
In Kentucky, a prenuptial agreement can cover assets, including each spouse’s retirement benefits, marital and separate property and even alimony. However, the agreement cannot determine the amount either spouse would pay for child support or specify a child custody arrangement.
To be enforceable, the agreement must be voluntarily signed by both spouses. Both spouses must also honestly disclose all debts and assets at the time of signing. Courts may refuse to enforce a prenuptial agreement if signed under duress or if a spouse lied about their financial status.
A Practical Financial Document
Having a prenuptial agreement does not mean you do not love or trust your spouse, but it does give you control over your estate if the marriage ends. Instead of looking at it as preparation for the eventuality of a divorce, consider it as a financial goal setting document.