A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is agreed to by a couple before they are married. Some say it is protection in the case of divorce, which it is but it is much more. It is a protection of debt and assets in the event of divorce or death of a spouse and has become more popular as more people are remarrying after divorce and/or have children from previous relationships.

While they are often used by the wealthy to protect assets, prenuptial agreements are also used by those less wealthy. Recently there has been a trend to sign these agreements as a means to settle a dispute after the marriage has taken place; that is known as a postnuptial agreement.

The reasons couples have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements includes:

• Clarify financial rights of the marriage.

• Declare what to do with property, especially if one or both parties has children from prior relationships.

• Specify how assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce including alimony, if any.

• Protection of debt of one spouse to another.

The process to come to an agreement is often a learning experience. Couples can see how their intended partner deals with talking about finances and compromise. It can be a telling time for a couple to be sure.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you, please contact the offices of Stuart & Blackwell.