Do You Need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and plenty of people have engagements and weddings on their minds. Besides the perfect ring, what else do you need? Everyone plans for their marriage lasting forever but sometimes circumstances happen beyond your control. Knowing that you can’t protect yourself from divorce, any steps you can take to avoid litigation and provide security is key. Many people are unaware that even property titled in their own names, can be considered marital property, depending on the circumstances.

Pre-nups can specify ownership as well as each parties’ rights to property upon death or divorce, as well as determining whether there will be alimony. The parties have a large degree of flexibility as to the terms of the pre-nup, although provisions regarding children will not be enforceable because the court always retains the ultimate authority regarding the best interests of children.

What if you’re already married? You may still be able to reach a valid agreement on these issues, which would be considered a “Post-Nuptial Agreement.” Any agreement regarding marital assets should be discussed with an attorney however, there are numerous pitfalls for the unwary.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

The Real Wedding Planning

Many business owners are unaware that their business, regardless of title, can be considered marital property. The law is all about definitions, and marital property in Maryland and DC is defined based on when the property was acquired. Furthermore, “acquired” has a specific definition, that CAN include growth of a pre-marital asset and assets that are paid off with marital funds. Even the income from your business can be marital property even if the business was pre-marital and not growing. Pre-nuptial agreements are a must for anyone having a second marriage, with significant premarital assets or with a business.

Before marriage, couples need to discuss their finances and be prepared to be honest about money. It should come as no surprise, money is one of the biggest stressors in a relationship. Some topics you may want to discuss include:  how much debt you have, what retirement assets you have, and whether you are more of a saver or a spender. It’s also important to talk about your goals, such as buying a house, paying off debt, starting a business, earning a degree or starting a new career. If you have assets or children from a prior marriage, you may want to consider having a pre-nuptial agreement. If you and the one you love don’t see eye to eye on these issues, don’t despair. You could agree to each have your own discretionary funds, keep assets solely titled, or find other compromises. The important thing is to not let financial issues take you by surprise!

-Heather L. Sunderman  ©

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.