On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, July 17, 2014.
When couples look forward to their weddings, a future of uninterrupted marital bliss seems all but guaranteed. Some would consider a prenuptial or premarital agreement to show a lack of faith in their partner.
Because Missouri is a dual-property state however, it may make sense for couples to define their martial and non-marital property with a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot.
A carefully crafted prenuptial agreement can actually help avoid some of the pitfalls that can derail a marriage. In fact, prenuptial agreements are simply a smart choice for some couples.
While individuals with high net worth are likely to execute agreements to protect their property rights in case of divorce, premarital agreements can serve those with more modest means as well.
Here are three things a prenuptial agreement can do to help couples avoid conflict:
- If one spouse brings more debt to the relationship than the other, a premarital agreement can clarify who is responsible for paying those debts.
- A prenuptial agreement allows couples to define certain assets as separate property. This can be particularly helpful in ensuring each person’s wishes are honored regarding the distribution of property after his or her death.
- Taking the time to put in writing what each spouse will bring to the relationship financially can create a roadmap for future harmony.
If the marriage does end in divorce or separation, a premarital agreement can be an invaluable tool to minimize the heartache and expense of dissolving the union. Agreeing on the disposition of each person’s financial assets during a calmer time means fewer issues to settle in a family law proceeding.
Agreements between spouses should be in writing. It is important that a prenuptial agreement treats each party fairly so it will stand up if it is ever challenged in court. For these reason, it is wise to seek the assistance of a lawyer with a practice in Missouri family law.