Prenuptial agreements are essential for any couple with student debt, 401(k)s, property, a business, a professional license (or in school working toward one), children from ‘before’, alimony, stock options in a startup, or anyone who expects changes during the marriage.
Why Consider A Marital Agreement
While marital agreements might seem unromantic, they actually establish a foundation of openness, communication and boundaries. Those attributes are essential to the success of any committed relationship. In a way, they are also insurance that should divorce become necessary, the courts will not make decisions for you.
To be effective, however, these agreements must comply with certain legal requirements. They should also be approached in a strategic manner. The language must be precisely drafted to fully capture the spirit and intention of the agreement between you and your spouse (or soon-to-be-spouse). At Northwest Family Law, P.S., our family law attorneys can help you put into place a solid agreement that is legally effective, carefully tailored to your situation and that withstands the test of time.
What These Agreements Can Address
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements address property and financial rights, including:
- Property ownership, which can impact property division
- Financial responsibilities during the marriage
- Rights arising from prior cohabitation
- Spousal support (alimony) in the event of a divorce
- Ownership of any family-owned businesses or business interests
- Debts that each party is bringing into the marriage
- Financial support of children from prior marriages
Some issues are outside the scope of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. For example, you can’t make any binding custody determinations through these agreements.
Prenuptial Vs. Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are simply those entered into before marriage, whereas postnuptial agreements are executed after you’re already married. You can address the same types of issues in both cases.
Some strategic considerations come into play when deciding whether to pursue a prenuptial agreement versus a postnuptial agreement. For example, it’s wise not to rush into a prenuptial agreement on the eve of your wedding, since courts could invalidate such rushed agreements later on.
Get Help Crafting An Effective Marital Agreement
Whether you are looking to enter a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, we can help you secure peace of mind for the future rooted in respectful communication and mutual understanding. Contact our lawyer in Bellevue, Washington, at (206) 792-0981 or reach out online to arrange an initial consultation.