Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”
Prenuptial agreements are more than a plot point in a movie, a line in a song, or the butt of jokes about those marrying above or below their financial status. Prenuptial agreements, often just called “prenups,” are a useful tool that couples preparing for marriage should seriously consider. However, some perceive prenups in a negative light and believe the myths about them permeating pop culture. It is important to gather all of the facts before believing everything you hear about prenups.
The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to have a plan in place for distribution of assets should you ever choose to dissolve your marriage. While some people view a prenup as a sign that one or both spouses is planning on a divorce sometime in the future, this is simply not true. No one enters into marriage in the hopes of getting divorced. However, estimates of the divorce rate are somewhere around 39-40% of all marriages; a prenup is an excellent way to plan for anything that might happen. Planning for the unexpected, like a divorce, separation, or sudden death, is smart.
Myth 2: Only Wealthy People Need Prenups
Another myth surrounding prenups is that only billionaires or millionaires have enough assets to warrant their use. Yes, individuals who have a lot of assets might see the allure of a prenup more than the average American, but anyone can benefit from the use of a prenup in their marriage. A prenup allows, or forces, couples to have tough discussions around wealth, shared finances, debts, and planning for future wealth or assets. You do not have to be extremely rich to have assets that you want to protect. Assets are assets, and the quantity does not determine their validity. A prenup can take into consideration the potential for future wealth and what a couple wants to do with it.
Myth 3: The Spouse with More Money has the Advantage
Some people think that the only person who is benefiting from a prenup is the person who has more assets and that the prenup is a way to keep the wealthier spouse’s assets from the “poorer” spouse. A prenup affords protections to all parties. A prenup is a legal contract and must adhere to strict guidelines; it can not be unconscionable, can not contain inaccuracies about assets and/or debts, etc. A prenup that does not follow the law can be invalidated by the courts. Because of all of this, prenups essentially have to be fair. One party can not be put at a disadvantage to the other.
If you are getting married soon and have questions about a prenup, contact an experienced family law attorney. The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to walk you through creating a prenup. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until spring 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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