Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements are not merely for the rich. As long as you have accumulated assets over the years and a degree of wealth, you should consider what the best way of protecting them will be. More so, if you have dependents, you want to ensure will be taken care of if you are to pass away. For instance, if you get married and have children from a previous union, but you have sole custody of your kids, short of adopting them, your spouse will not be obligated to care for them if you get divorced. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement should be a priority just to give you a sense of security that your belongings are protected. So, what steps go into creating a prenuptial agreement?
Hire a family lawyer
The process of drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement is not merely about writing down what you expect when it comes to your assets and having your partner sign the document. Both you and your partner need to retain a family lawyer as these professionals will guide the drafting of the prenuptial agreement. It is essential to retain a lawyer at least a couple of months before you get your marriage license. However, if it is not possible to sign a prenuptial before the wedding, then you may want to consider a postnuptial agreement.
Revealing of your financial status
Most people presume that the only information that they will end to disclose when drafting a prenuptial agreement is the assets they currently own. However, your financial status, and that of your partner, comprises more than that. For instance, you will both have to reveal all the debt that you have accumulated so that this is factored into the prenuptial agreement. Not to mention all properties, bank accounts and anything else that can be considered part of your financial portfolio. You may even want to include gifts, such as family heirlooms, if you want them to be protected as part of your assets rather than the union's property.
Establishing marital ownership
Speaking of items that will be considered to be shared property in your union, you must establish how you will share marital ownership. It is understandable that once you get married you will end up making some purchases together. Thus, do you want to split everything, including assets that you bought on your own, in half? Alternatively, should you divide joint assets alone? Establishing marital ownership is what will facilitate the divvying of assets down the road and will dictate if you can keep your property to yourself or if it will have to be shared with your spouse.
To learn more about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, contact a family law lawyer in your area.