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Should I Be Upset That My Fiance Suggested a Premarital Agreement?

The journey toward marriage is often accompanied by immense excitement and joy as couples envision a future filled with love, companionship, and shared dreams. However, it is common for practical matters, such as legal considerations, to arise during the wedding planning process. 

One such consideration is the suggestion of a premarital agreement by a fiancé. While this proposal may initially evoke mixed emotions, it is crucial to objectively evaluate the potential benefits and implications of such an agreement. 

How many Americans have a premarital agreement?

Premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements or “prenups,” are contractual agreements entered into by couples before they get married or enter into a civil partnership. These agreements outline asset rights, responsibilities, and division during a divorce or separation. 

While premarital agreements were once seen as rare and solely for the wealthy, they have become increasingly common among couples of all backgrounds in the United States. According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, nearly 62% of divorce attorneys reported an increase in clients seeking premarital agreements in recent years.

The Benefits of Having a Premarital Agreement

Premarital agreements serve various purposes and can benefit both parties involved. Firstly, they offer financial security and can help safeguard the assets each person brings into the marriage. By clearly defining the division of property, debts, and other financial matters, premarital agreements can mitigate potential conflicts and provide a fair and equitable resolution during a separation or divorce. 

These agreements can protect individuals from assuming their partner’s debts and liabilities, ensuring financial independence and peace of mind.

Circumstances Where a Premarital Agreement Is Beneficial

When contemplating a premarital agreement that may initially seem disheartening, it is essential to recognize the scenarios in which such contracts can be particularly advantageous for both parties. For instance, if one or both individuals have substantial assets, a premarital agreement can help preserve those assets and establish clear future distribution guidelines. 

Additionally, if one or both individuals have children from previous relationships, a premarital agreement can protect the inheritance rights of those children and ensure their financial well-being. Ultimately, premarital agreements can foster open communication, trust, and realistic expectations about financial matters within the relationship.

The Legality of Upholding a Premarital Agreement

In the unfortunate event of a divorce or separation, the legal enforceability of a premarital agreement becomes paramount. Generally, premarital agreements are upheld by courts as long as they are entered into voluntarily, without coercion or duress, and are fair and reasonable at the time of execution. However, it is essential to consult with legal professionals to ensure that the agreement adheres to state laws and addresses all relevant matters. 

It is worth noting that while premarital agreements predominantly deal with financial issues, they cannot govern child custody, visitation, or child support, as these matters are subject to the best interests of the child standard and determined by the court.

Are you considering drafting a premarital agreement? Contact us today.

Overall, considering drafting a premarital agreement should not be seen as an indication of a lack of trust or commitment but rather as a proactive step toward securing a stable future. By openly discussing the advantages, implications, and legalities surrounding premarital agreements, couples can foster understanding and address potential concerns. 

If you want to discuss a premarital agreement, contact the lawyers at Mahoney, Richmond, and Thurston to schedule a consultation.