As pointed out in an article on Wicked Local/Daily News Transcript by Suzanne R. Sayward, planning a wedding is not always about cakes, dresses and honeymoons. Prenuptial Agreements are becoming more common as the divorce rate rises in our society. These agreements are a way for a spouse to protect their assets, family, and possible inheritance.
1. Both parties must enter into the agreement under their own free will. No party may take advantage of the other spouse or coerce the other party.
2. All assets and liabilities must be clearly and completely laid out in writing.
3. There can be no fraud or misrepresentations of any kind or the agreement can be overturned.
4. The agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time it is constructed and at the time that the parties decide to divorce.
5. Each party must have their own legal representation independent of the other to ensure fairness.
6. In the event of nursing home expenses, a prenuptial agreement will not protect your assets from your spouse, even though the prenuptial agreement states that neither will be responsible for the long-term care costs of the other.
7. Prenuptial agreements are not just for those who have significant assets when they enter into the agreement. It can also take into account future assets from inheritance or gifts from family members.
8. Rights and obligations with respect to children, child support, and visitation/custody cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement.
9. Prenuptial agreements can keep all of your pre-marriage assets safe so that they will be returned to you in the case of a breakup or divorce.
10. Prenuptial agreements will minimize disputes of asset distribution in the case of divorce or separation.