Do you have financial concerns about your upcoming marriage? Perhaps you have financial obligations to children from a previous marriage, extensive personal assets, or complex investments and are unsure how your impending marriage will influence these factors. If you are concerned about your future finances prior to your marriage in Topeka, KS, a prenuptial agreement may offer the peace of mind and financial security you need to approach your marriage with greater confidence.
Unfortunately, prenuptial contracts have a bad reputation throughout the US as many people assume that asking for a prenuptial contract signifies a lack of faith in the marriage or an anticipation of divorce in the future. While a prenuptial agreement may not be the most romantic thing to discuss with your spouse-to-be, the reality is that your prenuptial contract can offer both of you peace of mind while offering some other surprising benefits as well.
What Is a Prenuptial Contract?
Put simply, a prenuptial contract is a legal agreement between you and your spouse that outlines your financial responsibilities in your marriage. This document can outline each of your separate property rights and other financial issues to eliminate uncertainty in the event of a future divorce. Your prenuptial agreement can effectively shield you and your spouse from one another’s debts, too.
When you choose the right Topeka, KS family law attorney to assist you in creating your prenuptial agreement, the contract you and your spouse develop can provide peace of mind and financial security as you begin your marriage. Additionally, the process of actually negotiating your prenuptial agreement may be a bit uncomfortable, but you and your spouse-to-be will be having the difficult conversations that many couples do not have until they have been married for many years and are confronted with significant financial problems.
Crucial Tips for a Viable Prenuptial Agreement
If you and your spouse decide to draft a prenuptial agreement, you should know what the process entails, what you will need to discuss, and how to ensure your contract is legally binding and enforceable. Consider the following tips and remember the value of experienced legal counsel as you and your spouse begin the process of creating your prenuptial agreement.
- Ensure your prenuptial agreement is conscionable. This term may seem nebulous, but state law in Kansas is quite clear when it comes to the conscionability of a prenuptial agreement. The agreement cannot include any terms that are grossly unfair, biased, built upon inaccurate or incomplete information, or illegal.
- Include clear provisions for you and your spouse’s respective separate property. Your prenuptial agreement must also clearly outline the joint property both of you will own. This joint property will be subject to division under Kansas’ equitable distribution laws if you divorce in the future, but your prenuptial agreement will ensure your respective separate property is not.
- Include financial rights and responsibilities for both spouses. Your agreement should outline each spouse’s ability to buy, transfer, sell, or use joint property while married.
- The prenuptial agreement should include a postnuptial clause. This section of your agreement must outline what happens to all property in the event of separation, divorce, the death of one of the spouses, or any other potential event the couple decides to include.
- Your contract should also include clear terms regarding alimony. The prenuptial agreement should outline whether any alimony will be paid to either spouse after legal separation or divorce, and it should also outline how much is paid with each payment and how long payments will continue.
- The prenup should include provisions for death benefits. You and your spouse should designate one another as the primary beneficiaries for each other’s life insurance policies unless you intend to arrange for your death benefits to go to your children instead.
- You should include terms for creating wills, trusts, and other estate planning arrangements and how each of you intend to carry out these arrangements.
- Both you and your spouse-to-be must sign the prenuptial agreement freely without any undue coercion or duress and with complete information. Ensure both you and your spouse-to-be provide complete and accurate financial disclosure documentation as you begin crafting your prenuptial agreement.
- Ensure you and your fiancée meet the legal prerequisites for signing contracts in Kansas. Both of you must be over the age of 18 and of sound mind with no medical conditions or disabilities that would prevent you from signing a legally binding document.
- Work with a trusted attorney for the creation of your prenuptial agreement. While you can easily find many “free” tools online to create your own prenuptial agreement, the reality is that you can only be certain that your prenup is enforceable and legally binding when you have an experienced Topeka, KS family law attorney assist you in drafting it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your fiancée create the ideal prenuptial agreement that provides both of you with the financial protection you want and the peace of mind to enter your marriage on an open and honest foundation.
Things to Remember After Creating Your Prenuptial Contract
Once you and your spouse have drafted your prenuptial agreement and enjoy your marriage ceremony, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding your prenuptial agreement. The first is the fact that life can present unexpected surprises, some of which may materially alter the terms and conditions included in your prenuptial agreement. It’s a good idea to revisit your contract after major life events or every few years to ensure it remains in alignment with your goals, needs, and expectations for your marriage.
Also, remember that you should always consult an experienced family law attorney if you encounter any problems with your prenuptial agreement, whether those issues include preparing for divorce while abiding by the postnuptial terms included in your agreement, altering your agreement in any way, or contesting the enforceability of your prenuptial contract.
If you need assistance with drafting your prenuptial agreement in Topeka, KS, a family law attorney is your best available resource. Take time to contact an experienced Topeka, KS family law attorney as soon as possible so you and your spouse-to-be can enter your marriage with peace of mind and financial confidence.