By now, most people understand that prenuptial agreements are for everyone and not just for the very wealthy. Still, you might not be sure whether signing a prenup is right for you. There are still many misconceptions about what a prenuptial agreement does and how it can protect you and your soon-to-be spouse.
Some people fear that signing a prenuptial agreement is a sign that their marriage will end in divorce. Others worry about how it will look if they ask for a prenup. Here are a few prenuptial agreement basics that can help you decide what is best for your relationship.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
In its most basic form, it is a private agreement that a couple signs before getting married. These agreements usually address asset division in the event that they get a divorce. This includes specifying which property is separate and which is marital, which can prevent any confusion in the future.
Prenups can address matters other than property division. Some couples choose to include alimony in their agreements too. One individual might agree to waive their right to alimony in the future. However, waiving alimony rights is a significant decision, so you should put plenty of thought into the matter if you are considering doing so.
Remember to keep things fair
Waiving rights to alimony is one thing, and creating an obviously unfair agreement is another. A prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable if a judge believes that it is not fair or is unfairly skewed in one person's favor. What is fair for one couple may not be fair for another, so it is important for you to carefully consider your circumstances.
You should also be sure to begin working on your prenuptial agreement sooner rather than later. It is possible that you or your partner might feel rushed and even forced into signing if you are still trying to figure things out a week before the wedding. In some circumstances, a judge might even decide to overturn the agreement if you sign your prenup too close to the day of the wedding.
You deserve protection
Protecting your assets, financial security and personal interests is a worthwhile endeavor. Even if you feel as if your relationship is solid, the reality is that many couples who were happy on their wedding days end up filing for divorce. There is no harm in protecting yourself, but there could be harm in failing to do so.
Prenuptial agreements may seem straightforward, but they can be difficult to craft. This is especially true when trying to navigate the complicated waters of Maryland family law. Working with an experienced attorney who understands these matters can alleviate some of the pressure you might feel to produce a perfect prenuptial agreement. Having counsel on your side can also ensure that your rights and interests are protected during property division.