Marital Agreements

While no one enters into a marriage anticipating it will end in divorce, sometimes people and life’s circumstances change after marriage, making the marriage unsustainable.  In a situation where there is no possibility of saving the marriage, divorce is sometimes the best option for a couple.  In an effort to ease the discord, conflict, and cost associated with divorce, parties may want to consider entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, also referred to as premarital and postmarital agreements.

Premarital agreements tend to carry the stigma of a marriage doomed to fail, but that is simply not the case.  Premarital agreements are not just for the rich and famous or for those who don’t have faith in their marriage lasting.  Premarital agreements are useful for blended families, second marriages, business owners, first-time marriages or marriages later in life. 

Marital agreements are not one-size-fits-all (so please don’t try this at home), and they do not have to be drafted to where each of you leaves the marriage with only what you came in with.  Marital agreements, whether prepared before or after the marriage, can specify what will remain you and your spouse’s separate property and what, if anything, you would like to designate as community property. 

Properly prepared premarital or post-marital agreements can be effective and beneficial for both parties.  Christine has extensive experience in the preparation of marital agreements, whether premarital or post-marital and can provide you the guidance and insight of what you need to protect. 

Protect the assets brought into the marriage
Define separate and community assets
Assist with estate planning
Full disclosure of each parties’ assets, debts, and income
Protect children from a previous marriage

If you are entering into a marriage with minor or adult children from a previous marriage, it has more than likely crossed your mind on how your estate will be divided between your new spouse and your children if something were to happen to you.  A Will and a marital agreement can stipulate how you would like to divide your estate between your new spouse and children of a previous marriage.  With second and third marriages increasingly common, it is important to consider these relationships and protecting those you love. 

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