Prenuptial Agreements in New Hampshire
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that couples sign prior to marriage. The agreement outlines the disposition of property, assets, and other terms of a divorce settlement should the couple’s marriage end. When couples are in a loving relationship the furthest thing from their minds is the possibility of divorce. In fact, some people may feel that by bringing up a prenuptial agreement the marriage will be somehow destined for failure. In actuality, as many as 40% of marriages end in divorce, so it’s essential for people to protect themselves. If you’re getting married it is important to have a prenuptial agreement which can be drawn up by an experienced New Hampshire divorce lawyer.
Reasons for a Pre-nup
There are many reasons to consider having a prenuptial agreement in place. Contrary to popular belief, a prenuptial agreement isn’t just for the rich and famous. Many couples prefer to have the details of a possible divorce put into place ahead of time. The pre-nup agreement outlines the major divorce settlement terms and may specifically include special procedures for specific circumstances. For example, if one person has a retirement fund prior to the marriage, he or she may want to keep it completely out of any potential divorce, even if it continues to be funded throughout the course of the marriage. The pre-nup allows you to make arrangements for how items will be distributed. It can be particularly useful when this is a second marriage or when children from a previous marriage are involved.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
One of the latest trends you may have heard of is couples seeking a postnuptial agreement. In most cases, a postnuptial agreement is not necessary because it will be replaced instead by a legal separation agreement or by a divorce itself. A postnuptial agreement is a legal agreement by both parties that covers the resolution of many of the major divorce settlement terms. By the time a couple decides they need a postnuptial agreement it is likely that they are already contemplating divorce and may not fairly review or agree to the terms of such a document. The time to handle an agreement of this type is before it’s needed, prior to getting married.
Drawing Up a Prenuptial Agreement
While there are some prenuptial agreement forms that you can simply purchase and fill in, these are very limited in their use. In fact, if you’re trying to protect specific assets, these forms typically won’t address these at all. It’s much safer and more reliable to have your pre-nup drawn up by an experienced New Hampshire family law attorney. Your lawyer will review your situation and discuss the terms with you so it is understood what you’re trying to accomplish. Your lawyer also will ensure that the prenuptial agreement is as ironclad as possible – the last thing you want is the pre-nup to be overturned or deemed not applicable when you’re relying on it. Most couples who are entering a marriage later in life or are getting married for a second time will benefit from a prenuptial agreement.