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Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property

Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements have a bit of a bad reputation in society and continue to be a touchy subject among soon-to-be newlyweds. The presumption is that preparing for the worst means you are expecting the worst. Whether or not you end up deciding if a prenuptial agreement is right for your situation, the fact is that these contracts are not inherently bad nor do they mean you want or believe the marriage will fail. It is mainly a form of protection provided for a worst case scenario. It might seem unromantic, but having this in place can save you heartache, time, and money if it turns out happily ever after is not forever.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract, which both you and your future spouse must sign prior to the marriage. It addresses property rights and expectations in the event of a divorce, including spousal support. This means you will not be subject to community property or equitable division laws, depending on the state in which you reside, since your prenuptial agreement will override these rules. Instead of haggling over assets and possibly ending up in litigation, everything will be predetermined. What a prenuptial agreement does not cover are issues regarding any children of the marriage, such as child custody and child support. Including these issues in your prenuptial agreement might result in it being thrown out and regarded as invalid. If you want a judge to take your prenuptial agreement seriously, make sure your contract is well-drafted and addresses only issues that can legally be enforced.

Making Your Decision

If you think a prenuptial agreement does not apply to you because you are not a multi-millionaire, now is the time to erase that thought. Prenuptial agreements are beneficial for more than just the celebrities you read about in tabloids. If you have property that belonged to your family and you want to protect it, this is something you will want to include in a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, you will want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement if:
  • You or your future spouse have been married before and is bringing assets into the new marriage
  • You or your future spouse have children from a previous relationship
  • You or your future spouse has a significantly greater income than the other
  • You or your future spouse owns a business or part of a family business
If none of these apply to you, it is possible a prenuptial agreement can still provide benefits if there is something you have an interest in protecting. If not, or if you and your spouse are on equal financial footing with similar incomes and savings, you might not need one. The best way to be sure is to consult an attorney to review your financial situation. Is it romantic? No, but even in a marriage, there are often things you will face that are far from romantic. In fact, through the process of negotiating the terms of a prenuptial agreement, you might find that your bond will strengthen.

Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys in Jackson

Before a person decides to marry the love of his or her life, usually the last thought is of creating a prenuptial agreement. Given the high rate of divorce in this country, however, this is a mistake that can lead to a strenuous and emotional process. At Shows Law Firm PLLC, we understand what it takes to craft a prenuptial agreement and enforce it in the event of a divorce. If you want to curtail your financial issues before marriage or wish to maintain property that is separate from marital, we can help you navigate the complexities of this situation. Contact us today at (601) 664-0044 for a free consultation.


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