Does a prenup protect future assets?
The divorce rate in the U.S continues to hover around 50%. In 1 out of 2 marriages, you are likely to divorce in your future. In this blog we answer some of the questions around why you might want to get a prenup before marriage. Does a prenup protect future assets? Can a prenup protect future earnings? If you fall into one of these categories, you will want to find out what a prenup protects:
- You have accumulated wealth before marriage and are concerned about having to share that wealth with your spouse if you divorce;
- You expect to accumulate wealth after your marriage either through inheritance or your business dealings or operations and wish to limit your obligation to share that expected wealth with your spouse if you divorce;
- You and your fiancé have income to support yourself if you divorce and you want to limit your obligation to them for spousal support or alimony if you divorce;
- If you have considerably more wealth and/or considerably higher income you’re your fiancé, a prenup can help you limit your exposure to distributing that wealth with them or to have to pay them spousal support or alimony;
- If you are concerned about being responsible for the debts of your spouse during the marriage or if you divorce; and
- If you want to avoid costly litigation in the event of divorce, a prenup can help you define your rights and responsibilities now before marriage;
What does a prenup cover? What is the purpose of a prenup?
Pre-nuptial agreements are often used to define separate property so that all property owned before marriage will remain that person’s separate property if they divorce. Parties to a prenuptial agreement are required to fully disclose their assets and debts in a financial statement that must be attached to the agreement. It is often very common that the pre-nuptial agreement will contain language that states each person can dispose of or utilize their separate property in whatever manner they wish, and any property that is purchased after marriage with separate funds or separate property shall also continue to be separate property.
Does a Prenup Protect Future Assets?
A pre-nuptial agreement is also used to define what constitutes marital property. Generally, marital property is any property that is acquired in either person’s name between the date of marriage and the date one spouse files for divorce. This property can include real estate, bank accounts, investments, etc. It is possible though to use a pre-nuptial agreement to provide that if the property purchased during the marriage can be traced back to either party’s separate property, then the marital property in question will be divided in proportion to the contribution from each party in the event of a marriage dissolution. This is quite different than what would happen if there was a divorce without a prenuptial agreement because in that case, the property would more than likely divided equally without regard to each party’s contribution to the acquisition of the property. A prenup protects your assets from your spouse if you divorce.
How might a pre-nuptial agreement affect your divorce?
Many people wonder if a prenup can protect future assets and earnings. A pre-nuptial agreement is a very good way for premarital assets to be protected in divorce. A prenup can set forth terms about how you will divide your assets and debts, and whether alimony will be paid, and if so for how long and how it might be calculated, if your marriage ends. A prenuptial agreement can limit what the lawyers need to address in the divorce, which would then only include a division of property acquired during the marriage. In many ways, a prenuptial agreement resolves many, if not all, of the divorce issues. Typically, the only issues left unresolved are those related to any children born or adopted during the marriage. Issues relating to children CANNOT be included in a prenup. This may aid in keeping divorce costs down and removes much of the stress associated with the financial aspects of a divorce.
If you have questions about a pre-nuptial agreement protecting future assets and earnings, call the attorneys at DeTorres & DeGeorge today to schedule a consultation.