What should I know about prenuptial agreements?

If you’re like most couples in Michigan, you don’t go into a marriage planning for a divorce to happen. Unfortunately, divorce is a sad fact of life for many married people, which is why implementing a prenuptial agreement is so important. If you and your spouse-to-be are on the fence when it comes to pre-nups, Bankrate offers the following advice.

Fair isn’t always the same

The basis of pre-nups is to provide each party with a fair share of assets accumulated during the marriage. However, the definition of fair is actually quite different depending on the court where the divorce is taking place, as well as the circumstance in question. While a pre-nup may be considered fair at the time it was signed, changing situations could render terms legally questionable. This is often an issue when one spouse is a business owner and has much success over the course of the marriage, thereby making the business far more valuable.

Every state has different rules

Getting professional legal assistance is recommended when creating a pre-nup. Consider that each state has different laws regarding these documents, and if you fail to create the agreement with these rules in mind it may be considered invalid. Depending on where you live, you may need to sign the agreement many days or even weeks before the marriage takes place. Being inebriated during signing is also an issue, as the person won’t be in the right state of mind to make a reasonable decision.

Keeping assets separate can help

A pre-nup spells out who owns what before marriage, but once the union is in progress separating assets can become murky. You can reduce confusion by keeping separate financial accounts, which can help establish ownership. You might also want to keep a certain property in your name or create a revocable living trust to ensure assets go to the appropriate party in the event of your death. 

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