Considerations when contemplating a prenuptial agreement

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, September 4, 2014.

There is a good chance that no matter where you live, in Missouri or elsewhere, your life has been touched by divorce in some way. So if you are thinking about getting married or remarried, you may be wondering how a prenuptial agreement works and whether you should enter into one before taking your vows.

The concept of a prenuptial agreement is simple: it lets you take more control over things such as particular roles of the spouses during a marriage, as well as personal and marital asset distribution in the event of the breakup of the marriage. This can all be uncomfortable for people to discuss, but prenups can prove to be very useful in helping individuals protect themselves should the worst happen.

Of course, a prenuptial agreement is not required before getting married. But in some situations, such as when you may have certain assets that you do not want to potentially leave to the discretion of Missouri’s divorce laws and a judge; it may make sense to consider one with your spouse-to-be.

Prenuptial agreements are basically like any other form of contract. While they are enforceable under the law if they are valid, there are a number of potential pitfalls to watch out for when writing one. As with any legal document, prenuptial agreements should be carefully drafted by someone with knowledge of family law.

A carefully drafted document must avoid provisions that are illegal or unenforceable due to other legal obligations. One example is a prenuptial agreement that attempts to override Missouri’s law with regard to child support obligations.

Prenuptial agreements are common enough today that some people may be tempted to write their own. But without the advice of an attorney, a prenuptial agreement can have consequences that are worse than if one had never been written at all. As with most legal documents, a prenuptial agreement is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Each marriage is as unique as the individuals in it, and marital legal decisions should reflect that.

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