Marriage is much more than a simple commitment to live with and faithfully love another person. It is also assuming shared ownership for assets and debts which can permanently change your way of living. If you and your partner are considering getting married, it’s important that you understand the legal implications of this social contract, including how to protect your personal assets in the event that you decide to terminate your marriage down the road. Premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements, can do exactly that. As your LA divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein, I can provide you with legal counsel and guidance when it comes to understanding and drafting a legally-binding premarital agreement.
A premarital agreement is a legal contract which both spouses enter into willingly and of their own accord prior to their marriage. The agreement delineates the course of action that should be taken in the event the couple divorces or if one of the partners passes away. Premarital agreements outline how certain issues, mostly pertaining to finances (though other considerations may be included), will be handled in a marriage. Topics that are typically addressed in a premarital agreement include:
A premarital agreement cannot be used to create an arrangement that a court would find unconscionable or unethical. A couple could not predetermine, for example, that a spouse would not be responsible for child support payments after a divorce, neither would they be able to subject the other to any type of cruel or humiliating behavior for cheating.
To the unknowing, premarital agreements are often dismissed as being unromantic and even harmful to a new marriage. Many traditionalists believe that a premarital agreement may be considered a harbinger of bad fortune in a new marriage. A premarital agreement, however, is much more than an antiquated symbol of martial misfortune. It can be an important tool that provides both you and your new spouse with peace of mind. A premarital agreement can be used to shield each party from each other’s debts and ensure that individual property, such as family heirlooms, businesses, and other assets are protected. A premarital agreement may also be used to ensure that both parties are cared for in the event of a divorce or death, especially when it comes to matters considering children and the division and distribution of property. In short, parties entering into a premarital agreement will be able to avoid common pitfalls and divorce hardships, as these issues will already have been settled via the premarital agreement.
To learn more about a premarital agreement and how you can begin the process, please reach out to me as your skilled LA divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein.