It’s smart to protect yourself. One of the best ways to do that is by negotiating an agreement to make sure that both you and your husband know what to expect in the event that things don’t go the way you planned.
There are a lot of different options available out there, and most people aren’t aware of them. They think that, if they didn’t get a prenuptial agreement in place before they tied the knot, they just have to take whatever the court or their husband will give to them–and that’s just not true! There are lots of different points–before, during, and after–your marriage that you can take charge and get things set forth in writing.
In fact, you don’t even necessarily have to get married to have an agreement in place, designed to protect you against any eventuality.
Nonmarital Agreements can help if you don’t plan to get married. They help set forth just about everything, from expectations for what will happen during the relationship, to how your shared property will be divided in the event of a break up. Since you can’t get divorced or have any assistance from the court in the breakup of your relationship if you’ve never been married, you can decide in a formal contract exactly how any shared property, like a home or a car, would be handled if you decided to go your separate ways. Not only that, but it can also help you set forth your expectations for a custody and visitation arrangement, should your relationship result in any children being born of the marriage.
Premarital Agreements, or prenuptial agreements, are agreements that are signed and negotiated before the marriage takes place, and set forth what will happen in the event of a divorce.
Marital Agreements take place after you say “I do.” Just because you didn’t negotiate a prenuptial agreement before you got married doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. If you find that, after you’re married, circumstances change, and you want to negotiate an agreement to reflect that, you’re not alone. A lot of people negotiate marital agreements when one spouse decides to stay at home or makes any other kind of major change–and want to make sure that they’re protected in case something bad happens later on. We also see marital agreements sometimes when the parties are trying to save the marriage.
Separation Agreements are negotiated after you and your husband separate. A separation agreement is a legal contract, negotiated between the two of you, that formally divides all the assets and liabilities in the marriage. Everything from retirement accounts to real estate, credit card debt, student loans, personal property (like furniture, TVs, and computers), custody, and visitation is handled in a separation agreement.
Reconciliation Agreements provide protection in case you and your husband decide to get back together after a period of separation.
It’s not the most romantic thing you’ve ever heard, but having an agreement in place – whether before, during, or after your marriage–can provide you with a little extra security. Knowing what will happen in the event of a divorce or a break up can help both people feel safer. If you’re wondering what your next step should be to be sure that you protect yourself, your assets, and your children, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200 to talk about your options. No matter where you are in the process, there’s an agreement that can fit your needs and protect the things that keep you lying awake at night.