A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement in Alabama, is a contract between two people who decide to marry. The agreement outlines how the couple wants their estate divided should they divorce.
There are several reasons for drawing up a prenuptial agreement. Some people think that prenups are only for the very wealthy couples, but the reality is that any couple with assets, potential business interests, debt, or children needs to seriously consider having a prenuptial agreement before marriage.
The most important aspect of a prenup is to ensure a divorce won’t end up risking money and financial investments that each spouse has obtained prior to the marriage. If you are a business owner or have other monetary interests that grew during the relationship, a prenup is essential to protect these assets during a divorce. In addition, creditors can come after one spouse’s accounts and property if the other spouse is sued or has unpaid debt during or after the divorce.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Do?
A good prenuptial agreement should outline any assets and debts each spouse has prior to the marriage. It determines how the couple will split income, property, retirement investments or any debt that was acquired during the marriage.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Alabama?
Most states in the U.S. have adopted the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act. This act outlines certain rules needed to make a prenuptial agreement enforceable. Alabama isn’t one of those states.
According to Alabama law, all prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by the spouse who is giving up rights as part of the agreement, such as the right to alimony, in the state of Alabama. The best practice is for each spouse to sign the agreement.
Other Ways a Prenup Can Be Beneficial
A prenuptial agreement is not only used in cases of divorce, but also following the death of a spouse in some cases. For example, couples who marry later in life, or were married before, often have substantial assets and property that they need to protect. Some agreements provide for a waiver of the right of election so the spouse can leave their estate to anyone they wish. For parents that wish to provide for their children or other family members upon death, this waiver is important.
Uses of Postnuptial Agreements
After marriage, spouses can draw up a postnuptial agreement that outlines the division of dividing property and assets both during the marriage and divorce.
A postnuptial agreement can be useful when the circumstance of one spouse’s financial situation changes. For example, if a husband stands to inherit a large amount of property and assets from his parents, a postnuptial agreement can define his property as separate and make provisions for it if the marriage ends.
If you are looking to draw up prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you need legal advice from qualified attorneys. At New Beginnings Family Law in Huntsville, Alabama, our firm has more than a decade of experience with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Contact us by phone or online now for a consultation.