A premarital agreement or prenuptial agreement sometimes occurs in an effort to protect certain assets. It is an agreement entered into prior to marriage as to the separation of certain assets should a divorce occur. Traditionally, prenuptial agreements were entered into when one party had significant assets to protect. More recently, however, many couples are choosing this as a way to protect themselves in the event of a divorce. Some couples may choose a premarital agreement if they have family property, such as a family home or stake in a family business. Others may opt for a premarital agreement if they have children from a prior marriage and seek to preserve their estate for them.
Couples who are older or have been married previously often turn to prenuptial agreements to protect their assets in the event of divorce or death. The parties involved may intend for their assets to be distributed amongst their children, especially if the other spouse is already financially secure. In these cases, a prenuptial agreement can be used in lieu of or in addition to a will to determine distribution of assets in the event of death.
A prenuptial agreement can be utilized to ensure that your assets are distributed as you desire should you die. In absence of a will, the prenuptial agreement will serve as a representation of your desires upon your death. This may be especially important should you wish that certain assets remain with your family or be transferred to your children. Without a prenuptial agreement or will, your assets will automatically go to your spouse upon your death. Your attorney can work with you to make sure that your prenuptial agreement does not conflict with your will, should one exist. Although a valid prenuptial agreement will override your will, it will be easier should the two be in agreement from the beginning.
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must provide a full and complete disclosure of their assets. If you are older or have been married before, you may have a number of different assets. It is important to disclose them completely, as failing to do so may invalidate your prenuptial agreement. In addition, the agreement must be considered “fair, just, and equitable” to both parties. This can lead to some confusion, as what may be considered fair and equitable to one couple may not be to another. Your attorney can help you compose an agreement that is fair and just, so that you can rest assured that it will be valid in the eyes of the law.
Anyone seeking a prenuptial agreement should seek aid from an attorney. A prenuptial agreement should be taken seriously and requires much the same consideration as a divorce decree or a will. It is important for both parties to have legal counsel to protect their rights. In addition, in order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must be entered into voluntarily and with full disclosure. An Alabama family law attorney can work to ensure that your agreement is valid in the eyes of the law.
The law regarding prenuptial agreements in Alabama can be a bit complex, so it best to call upon an attorney for assistance rather than taking any chances that your agreement may be considered invalid. Contact the Zwiebel Law Firm today either online or at 205-623-1001 to set up a consultation.