How A Pre-nup Works

by RyanD on November 22, 2012

(Prenups under US law and general info) A prenup agreement, also more formally known as a prenuptial agreement is a legal document that is signed by both parties in a marriage before the wedding. It is designed to forestall fights and lengthy court battles should the couple break up, and though the requirements and limitations vary from place to place, all fifty states in the United States recognize prenuptial agreements as being legally binding. Whether you are getting married soon or you are thinking about it in the future, there are a few things that you should know about this legal document.

What Is Covered in a Prenup?
Essentially, a prenup talks about property. It lays out the terms of what each person gets if the marriage dissolves. This protects people who are worried that their significant other is with them only to get a certain piece of property, and it also clearly defines what belongs to each person. Not only is phyiscal property discussed in a prenup, but things like liquid assets, investments and saving bonds are also covered. This is something that can give the people involved a great deal of peace of mind.
Sundown Clause
A sundown clause is essentially an expiration date, and while some prenup arrangements lack them, there are plenty which choose to make use of this function. A sundown clause essentially states that if the marriage lasts a certain amount of time, the prenuptial agreement will be discarded. Many people like the idea of including a sundown clause because it means that they are looking forward to a time when the wariness that is implied in a prenuptial agreement in the first place can be a thing of the past.

Invalidation Clauses
There are some clauses which state that the document itself is null and void in the case of certain events. For example, something infidelity may be listed as a cause for cancellation. The clauses that indicate that the prenup is null and void are extremely varied. Things like sexual satisfaction and personal looks might be included, depending on the type of relationship that is being described, and if you are thinking about getting a prenup yourself, you’ll find that this is something to which you should give significant amounts of attention.

Prenuptial agreements are also a good way to make sure that children do not end up in serious financial trouble if the marriage dissolves. Certain funds can be earmarked for the children, meaning that they belong specifically to the children, to be held in trust until they come of age. This is a good choice for parents who are concerned about their children’s welfare.

Legal Information
In most cases, a prenuptial agreement can be something that is signed by two people in front of a notary. At that point, presuming that neither partner was coerced into signing, the document is legal. However if there is a great deal of money at stake, or if the document is fairly complex, it is entirely worth your while to consult with a lawyer. There are definitely lawyers that specialize in this complex piece of legal documentation, and they will help you draw up a legal document that is fair. There is a fair amount of litigation that can go into contesting a prenup, and choosing the right lawyer to draft it in the first place can solve a lot of problems down the line.

If you are interested in prenups, be sure that you consider your property and everything that you want to prevent. A prenup keeps your marriage on an even footing, and it protects you in case anything happens to go wrong.


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