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Prenuptial agreements: a versatile tool for protecting your assets

While a couple does not ordinarily plan a wedding with the expectation they will one day divorce, there is something to be said for being prepared for the possibility. Divorce can result in a significant loss of assets-and the assumption of significant debt-for those who fail to plan. One of the tools individuals can use to protect themselves is a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements may address a variety of concerns, depending on individual circumstances. What happens in the event of divorce? Some may use a prenup to protect premarital business assets. Others may use a prenup to establish the financial obligations of their spouse. Those with children from a previous relationship or marriage may use a prenup to address issues of inheritance. Future heirs may protect their own inheritances with a prenup.

Not only can a prenup be used to establish who owns what when a marriage dissolves, it also can be used to establish who owes what. For example, some may use a prenup to address mortgage payments or the payment of student loans. While a prenup serves many purposes, it cannot be used to address child support, custody and visitation issues-all matters to be decided by the court.

In our next post, we will continue looking at the topic of prenuptial agreements, focusing on their validity and enforceability and how an experienced attorney can help with prenup negotiation and enforcement.

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