Prenuptial Agreement Attorney in Louisville
When a couple is bringing a significant amount of assets and property into a marriage, it often makes sense to consider a prenuptial agreement. Also known as a “premarital agreement” or “prenup”, prenuptial agreements can help address, in advance, most of the terms and conditions of a potential divorce or the future death of either spouse. This can provide a greater level of security, certainty, and peace of mind for couples in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Prenuptial agreements are written contracts that are signed between two individuals before they get married. They might also choose to execute this type of agreement after they are married, in which case it would be referred to as a “postnuptial agreement”. Prenups have been around a long time, but up until recently, they have been seen as something only wealthier couples need. There has also been a stigma attached to these types of agreements, with many people believing just the thought of one means that they are planning on the marriage ending in divorce.
These days, people are starting to view prenuptial agreements differently. Even couples with more limited means are using prenups to provide certain protections. For example, many individuals who are entering their second or subsequent marriage have children from prior relationships, and premarital agreements are a good way to help ensure that their children are provided for. And while few people ever get married with intention of getting a divorce, the reality is that a high percentage of marriages end this way, and it only makes sense to properly prepare for that possibility.
At John H. Ruby & Associates, we understand the dilemma many people face when they are trying to decide whether or not to create a prenuptial agreement. Our experienced attorneys have helped countless individuals with prenups and other family legal matters in Kentucky since 1999. We can help you draft a prenuptial agreement, and we can also review an agreement before you sign it to ensure that it is in keeping with your best interests, or we can help you challenge an existing agreement if there are grounds to dispute its validity.
What Can be Covered in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Premarital agreements can address most of the financial issues that would need to be dealt with in the event of a divorce. Some of the most common examples include:
- Division of Assets: During any divorce, one of the issues that can be especially contentious, costly, and time-consuming to resolve is the division of property and assets. A prenuptial agreement can help streamline this process and reduce stress by spelling out how the financial assets and property will be divided. Oftentimes, a prenup will specify that property brought into the marriage will remain with its original owner in the event of a divorce. It could also lay out ground rules for how to divide assets that are acquired jointly during the marriage.
- Division of Debts: Couples may also bring certain debts into a marriage, such as mortgages on real estate property, vehicle loans, credit cards, and personal loans. A premarital agreement can specify which party is responsible for the debts brought into the marriage as well as any new debts that are accumulated while the marriage is ongoing.
- Alimony/Spousal Support: A prenuptial agreement can specify how much will be paid out in alimony in the event of a divorce, within reason. Kentucky courts will normally uphold the spousal support provisions of a prenup as long as they are considered fair and reasonable. On the other hand, the agreement could stay silent on the question of alimony and leave it to the courts to decide.
- Safeguard Inheritances: A prenup can include provisions that preserve the rights of children and grandchildren from previous relationships to inherit certain property if the spouse that brings the property into the marriage dies.
How Prenuptial Agreements Can Protect Children in a Second Marriage
Prenuptial agreements can be useful in saving second spouses and stepchildren from the expense, time, and heartache of arguing in court over asset distribution when a parent passes away. These agreements are also very useful in the event the second marriage fails and the couple cannot agree on the division of assets.
Prenups can contain any strategy that dictates how assets should be treated as long as it is legal and fair. They often perform the following functions:
- Ensure that all parent-owned assets that existed before the second marriage took place go to the children
- Detail the list of personal belongings that will go to the children and those that will go to the spouse
- Determine how retirement and savings accounts will be allocated after death
- Describe what will happen to the family or personal business
What Prenuptial Agreements Cannot Cover
While most legal matters can be addressed in a premarital agreement, there are some areas that cannot be covered. The two most notable issues that a prenup cannot address are child custody and child support. These issues are addressed at the time of the divorce and in keeping with the best interests of the child/children.
When can a Prenuptial Agreement be Challenged?
As mentioned earlier, in order for a premarital agreement to be valid, it must be legally enforceable. There are some instances in which a prenup can be challenged, some of the most common include:
- The agreement was poorly drafted (e.g., the language is too vague to properly interpret);
- The agreement was not properly signed and executed by both parties;
- One or both parties failed to properly disclose all of their income, property, and assets before the agreement was signed;
- The agreement was signed under coercion, duress, or without proper mental capacity;
- Either party failed to have the agreement reviewed by an attorney before it was signed;
- The agreement is unreasonable, unconscionable, and/or unfairly favors one of the parties over the other.
Contact the Skilled Kentucky Family Law Attorneys at John H. Ruby and Associates
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you need to ensure that it includes precise language that is carefully worded in a way that is legally enforceable while also fully protecting your interests. If you need a prenup reviewed or you are considering challenging its validity, you need an attorney who fully understands the ins and outs of these types of agreements, so you are in the best possible position to obtain a positive outcome.
The attorneys at John H. Ruby & Associates are here to help with prenups and any other family legal matters you may need assistance with. Call our office today at 502-895-2626 or message us through our online contact form to schedule a consultation. You may also stop into our Louisville office in person at your convenience.