When planning a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that both you and your future spouse disclose all of your financial assets and property at the time of marriage. Prenups are designed to help protect personal property and finances and to make sure property is fairly divided in case of a divorce. When one partner fails to disclose certain premarital assets, it could raise red flags for the divorce judge and potentially cost you more during divorce proceedings.
Premarital assets are defined as any assets you have acquired before your marriage. These types of assets can include savings, stock options, personal property (car, house, jewelry, etc.), and promised holdings (inheritances, retirement, etc.). In addition to financial securities, debts must also be disclosed within premarital assets (even though a debt isn’t generally considered an asset).
Identifying Premarital Assets
In order to ensure that all assets are divulged, the American Bar Association highly recommends that you and your partner create extensive lists of all of your personal property, assets, and debts. While creating your lists, it is important to ask yourselves where you both stand on particular financial issues going forward. This will not only reiterate the need for a prenup, but will also help clarify future financial dependencies.
To help make sure you’re both on the same page, you should ask yourselves the following questions:
- How will you handle premarital assets and debts during your marriage? How will you handle them in the event of a divorce?
- Will your personal property become co-mingled with your marital property? Do you wish to have your assets and debts remain separate property so they will go back to the spouse who acquired them before the marriage?
- If you use your premarital assets to help pay off your fiance’s debts, will you expect to be reimbursed in the event of a divorce or was the payoff a gift?
- What if you use premarital property to buy a home you’ll own together? Will the paying spouse need to be reimbursed or is it a gift?
- Would you like to set up a trust in order to keep certain personal property from being declared as premarital assets?
Once you’ve made the decision to create a prenuptial agreement, setting it up is easier than you may think. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll walk you through the process. With specialized and diligent representation you will not only have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your agreement is secure, but you’ll also have the support and guidance you need to ensure your prenup is what you and your fiance want.
No one expects her marriage to end in divorce, but with separation rates being what they are, planning for the future is a wise decision. Let us help you make sure you’re covered. Call us today for a free consultation. Remember, we take our job (and our clients’ futures) very seriously. Take advantage, and let us help you!