In family law, a prenuptial agreement is a document that allows a soon-to-be-married couple to make plans for finances and assets in the event the union ends in divorce. The main goal of a prenup is to protect the interests of both spouses and ensure they leave the marriage with a certain amount of financial support and stability. Here are some crucial elements to include in this essential family law document.
What to Include in a Prenuptial Agreement
1. Distinguish Property Ownership
Alabama considers any property accumulated during the course of a marriage to be a marital asset, which means it will be distributed equitably among divorcing spouses. If you want to decide who retains ownership of marital property in a divorce, state these plans in your prenup. Otherwise, family law courts will determine ownership, and their decision may not be in your favor. Also, if you enter into a marriage with certain property and want to be sure to retain it after the marriage, include this information in a prenup as well.
2. Protect Against Debt
Debts can be managed in a prenup in the same way assets can. If one spouse has current or potential future debts that they don't want their spouse to be legally responsible for in the event of divorce, stipulate this arrangement in the prenup. Otherwise, the other spouse may be held liable for repaying the debt.
3. Provide for Children From a Previous Relationship
When you have children from a prior relationship, include them in your prenup as a way of safeguarding their inheritance. If a person passes away unexpectedly without a will or prenup in place, the children from the current union will become the legal next of kin, which could preclude the kids from a previous relationship from inheriting any of the deceased's assets. By stating inheritance plans in a prenup, your wishes will supersede next-of-kin laws and look out for the best interests of all your children.
Ray T. Kennington, Attorney at Law, has been representing clients throughout the Ozark and Enterprise, AL, areas since 1982. In addition to family law cases, Attorney Kennington offers legal support in bankruptcies, personal injuries, and Social Security claims. He will work with you to design a prenuptial agreement that meets the needs of your changing family. Call (334) 445-1200 or visit his law firm online to schedule a consultation.