What Should I Include in My Prenuptial Agreement?

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When two people decide to get married, they are committing to combining their lives as one. This can be exciting, but it is important to think about the future and protect yourself. While many criticize prenuptial agreements for being unromantic and setting the marriage up for failure, they can benefit both parties. If you are getting married and are wondering how you can benefit from a prenuptial agreement and what you should include, reach out to an experienced Suffolk County prenuptial agreement lawyer for advice and legal counsel.

What is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a legal agreement between a couple that is signed before their marriage. Many people believe that a prenup is always drawn up by a wealthy man to protect his finances from his lower-earning fiancé. However, this is a common misconception. Anyone can request that their partner sign a prenuptial agreement regardless of personal finances. Prenups do not automatically mean that the spouse with a lower income will get nothing in a divorce. These contracts can outline the division of assets, finances, and other matters if the marriage ends in divorce or death. Prenups can prove useful for both parties involved.

What Should My Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

A prenuptial agreement can be customized to suit the unique needs of each couple. You can include almost anything you want in your prenup, as long as both spouses agree to the terms. The following are some subjects that a prenuptial agreement can address.

  1. Define property: If you do not want to risk leaving certain decisions up to a court, you can define marital and separate property in the prenup. If you own real estate from before your relationship you may wish to specify that it remains yours alone and your partner does not have a legal claim to it.
  2. Division of assets: Prenuptial agreements are designed to cover financial matters in a relationship. The prenup will clarify what assets each spouse is entitled to in the event of a divorce. This can include money from various bank accounts, real estate, personal property, etc.
  3. Division of debts: Your prenuptial agreement can also help to protect you by specifying that each person’s debts are their own. Creditors will not be able to target marital property to recover funds for debts.
  4. Alimony: Your prenup can include information about spousal support after a divorce. You can include a provision that your spouse must pay you a percentage of their income monthly if the relationship ends.
  5. Child custody and child support: You and your spouse may decide to include a provision regarding custody of any children you currently have or may have in the future. It is important to note that child custody and support in a prenup is not always enforceable. A court will have the right to overrule this particular agreement if they see fit.
  6. Pet custody: Most states consider pets subject to property division. However, you may include a stipulation that one spouse is to receive custody of any family pets in the event of a divorce, or custody may be split.

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