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Prenuptial agreements: Their role in simplifying divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Prenuptial Agreements

Planning a wedding is hard enough. But proposing something as delicate as a prenuptial agreement (or prenup) into the mix? It can be quite the conversation. For some, the mere suggestion of one can lead them to assume that there’s a lack of trust involved.

Contrary to common belief, someone asking for a prenup isn’t necessarily expecting the worst. It’s more about that person wanting to be prepared for any potential outcomes. This preparation allows couples to fully enjoy their relationship and be secure in knowing they have a plan for the future, whatever it may bring.

But in a legal sense, it’s no secret that it can simplify some aspects of a divorce, but how?

A helpful tool in challenging times

While not a necessity, prenups dictate the division of assets and debts, and sometimes spousal support, in the event of a divorce. It can be particularly helpful for couples with high household incomes and complex assets. It allows them to decide in advance how their assets will be divided rather than leaving these decisions up to the court:

  • Division of shared property: Who keeps the family home? How are shared assets split?
  • Allocation of debt responsibilities: Who is responsible for which debts?
  • Distribution of individual and joint investments: How are investment portfolios divided?

A prenup can address these issues in advance, offering peace of mind and financial protection. This can be a significant factor in divorces involving business owners or high-income professionals.

The need for legal assistance in prenup preparation

While a prenuptial agreement can help simplify a divorce, it’s important to remember that its purpose is not to anticipate a marriage’s end. Instead, it can actually serve as a practical tool to help couples focus on the best of their relationship by removing potential financial stressors.

However, when drafting a prenup, couples must follow specific laws in Washington to ensure the agreement is enforceable. A legal professional can help here. They can provide assistance in writing up an agreement that is fair, conscionable and meets all legal requirements.