A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are about to get married, which regulates their financial relationship in case of divorce or separation.
Why sign a prenuptial agreement?
You may be surprised to hear that signing a prenuptial agreement is actually one of the ways to ensure a good and trust-based relationship. Through this agreement, the couple regulates the division of property between them in case of a breakup. This ensures that their relationship is free of financial interest and that they are with each other out of love and a desire to be together. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can prevent financial conflict in the event of a divorce and it also offers additional protections for the couple, such as protection from creditors.
What does a prenuptial agreement include?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between spouses that regulates their financial relations. Within its framework, the division of property between the parties is regulated in case of divorce or when common-law spouses separate. Signing a prenuptial agreement is intended to prevent the development of a financial conflict between the spouses when the relationship runs into a crisis, and thus to make the separation easier from a legal and emotional point of view. Why? Because the division of property, which is usually a central point of contention between spouses, has already been agreed upon in advance. This is done when the relationship was good and loving, which usually ensures that the agreement is fair and respectful for both parties. It is commonly thought that prenuptial agreements are intended to protect only the wealthy party in the relationship, but in fact, when the agreement is drafted fairly, it provides financial protection for both parties and serves as a solid anchor for their relationship, both financially and emotionally. This is because it removes the financial interest from the equation and both spouses can be sure that they are living together out of genuine desire and love for each other.
What does the agreement include?
Each contract should be adapted to the specific circumstances of the parties to it, and so is the case with a prenuptial agreement. However, there are general guidelines that are common to all prenuptial agreements, as explained below. The basis of a prenuptial agreement is the separation between the personal property of each spouse and the joint property. While the former will be returned to its owner in the event of a separation, the latter will be divided between the parties in the manner they will determine in the agreement. It is important to include in the prenuptial agreement all the property that the spouses have managed to accumulate, separately and together, on the eve of the agreement, and it must also refer to the property that is yet to be accumulated. The agreement must refer to all types of property, including gifts, inheritances, and assets whose value may change, such as real estate, stocks, and the like. In addition, a prenuptial agreement may also refer, as we will see below, to the issue of debts and provide protection from creditors.
Protection from creditors
In addition to avoiding financial conflict in the event of a breakup, a prenuptial agreement also has another important aspect, such as protection from creditors. When one of the spouses falls into debt, for example, a bank debt, a debt to a supplier in the framework of a self-employed business, and the like, the creditors will be able to try and collect the debt from both spouses. This is unless there is a prenuptial agreement that carries out a property separation in this matter and states that the debts of each party in the relationship are his/hers alone and the other spouse cannot be charged with them. We emphasize that receiving protection from creditors is relevant mainly when the agreement is signed a significant period of time before the debts are accumulated. Otherwise, the creditors can try and have the agreement invalidated in court, on the basis of the claim that it was signed only for the purpose of evading payment of the debt. It should be noted that in addition to signing a prenuptial agreement, there are other ways to effectively protect yourself against debts of your spouse and you can consult with a lawyer on this issue when you contact him/her to build the agreement.
Prenuptial agreement – when to sign it?
The answer to this question is simple, whenever the couple wants to. There are couples who choose to sign a prenuptial agreement before marriage, in order to know that they are walking down the aisle together, when this issue is settled between them. Other couples make the decision after marriage, sometimes following a significant financial change. The only difference is in the approval process of the agreement. What do we mean? A prenuptial agreement requires the approval of a notary public or a legal court, in order to have legal validity. This is because the parties to it are spouses and it is therefore necessary to make sure that they made the agreement of their own free will and without pressure or coercion from their spouse. When a prenuptial agreement