When two people get married they create a legal partnership. Each person brings into the partnership the debts and assets of their single life which then become a joint concern. As the marriage continues new debts and assets are created which also go into the marital estate.
If a spouse files for a dissolution of marriage, the marital pool of assets and debts is divided between the two parties and appropriate agreements such as child custody, child support, and a parenting plans are drawn up to protect any children of the marriage. This is a very simplistic view of a divorce but it is meant to explain the process in its basic form.
A pre-marital agreement is a legal contract that is signed by both parties prior to a marriage. A pre-marital agreement can protect the assets that you possess as a single person and keep them separate in a divorce action. This agreement can also include additional provisions for the division of marital property, payment of spousal maintenance, and attorney fees.
Executing a pre-marital agreement will assist both parties in the event of a divorce or death. It can streamline the process and can help avoid litigation. However, a pre-marital agreement cannot be used to determine child custody or child support which can be a contested issue in a divorce.
It is important that if you are considering drafting or signing a pre-marital agreement that you consult with a family law lawyer in Terre Haute. A family law lawyer in Terre Haute can review the agreement with you and address any concerns that you may have with the contract language. An attorney can also help you negotiate any items in the agreement that you would like to have changed.
Another option is a post-marital agreement, which can be created after the marriage takes place, and can have a similar effect as a pre-marital agreement-to keep certain assets out of the marital estate or determine the division of assets obtained during the union.
Not all states acknowledge post-marital agreements. In Indiana a married couple may enter into a post-marital agreement as long as it meets specific conditions. If you are interested in protecting your assets via post-marital agreement, you should contact an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of your rights.
WHY A PRE OR POST-MARITAL AGREEMENT MAY WORK FOR YOU
If you have been married before, you may want to keep certain items separate from your new union. A pre-marital agreement is a great way to do this. If you chose to postpone marriage until you were able to establish your career, you may also have accumulated a great deal of wealth and may want to have a pre-marital agreement in place to preserve the nest egg you built.
Pre-marital agreements can be revoked or amended after a marriage takes place if both parties agree and file a new document.
Having a conversation with your potential spouse about a pre-marital agreement does not have to be an awkward situation. Open communication is a good cornerstone for a strong marriage. If you have questions about how a pre-marital or post-marital agreement may benefit you, contact our family law attorneys.
The best way to protect your rights in a pre-marital or post-marital agreement is to speak with a knowledgeable Terre Haute family attorney. Ideally your marriage will last a lifetime, however, entering into a pre-marital or post-marital agreement with a spouse is one way to protect your rights should the marriage break down. These agreements can be set aside by the courts if not properly executed. Having an experienced Terre Haute family law attorney help you draft an enforceable agreement can protect your rights. Contact a Terre Haute family law attorney at Rowdy Williams Law Firm today to talk more about how a pre-marital or post-marital agreement can help you.