Entering a marriage is one of life’s most significant decisions. Couples who choose to wed have much to consider as they prepare for their future together. Marital contracts can eliminate some uncertainties and ease the financial transition from single to married life. A Florence marital agreements lawyer could draft a fair contract that meets your goals and protects your interests in the event that you and your spouse divorce. Ask to speak with a knowledgeable family attorney.
What is a Marital Agreement?
A marital agreement is a legally binding contract between two spouses. These agreements enable spouses to set terms for asset division, debt allocation, and, in some cases, child custody. Either spouse can seek to enforce the contract against the other.
Marital agreements come in many forms and serve different purposes. The nature of the agreement may depend in part on whether the couples signed it before or after marriage. A Florence marital agreements attorney could further explain marital contracts and their role in a couple’s future planning.
Types of Marital Agreements in Florence
There are several types of agreements relating to marriage. Each contract is based on the marriage itself and can control different aspects of the couple’s relationship, including their finances, property, and children.
Also referred to as a prenup, intended spouses enter into this contract before they marry. A prenup can define what assets each spouse is bringing into the marriage, known as premarital assets. The agreement also determines how the couple’s property will be distributed if they divorce.
Similar to prenups, postnuptial agreements can set forth the terms of property division if the couple ends their marriage. However, postnups are signed after the couple marries. In many cases, parties who wanted a prenup but did not execute one before their wedding may choose to sign a postnup.
Additionally, significant changes during the marriage, such as one spouse starting a new business, may trigger the need for a postnuptial agreement. For example, if one spouse wants to start a business using premarital funds, the couple may want an agreement setting forth each spouse’s interest in that venture and whether any part of it will remain one spouse’s nonmarital property.
When spouses decide to take a break from their marriage but are not entirely sure they want to divorce, they may choose a separation agreement. This contract can address how they will manage the family bills during the separation and who will reside in the marital home. Issues relating to spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support may be temporarily resolved by a binding separation agreement, allowing the spouses time to consider their marriage’s future.
Marital Settlement Agreement
If a couple has determined to end their marriage, a marital settlement agreement is an excellent way to resolve their issues without going to court. Under Kentucky Revised Statutes § 403.180, final alimony, property division, and other divorce terms can be stated in this agreement. Unlike prenups and postnups, which cannot address matters relating to children, marital settlement agreements can include specific child custody and support arrangements.
There are many questions that a couple must answer before they enter into a marital agreement. One essential consideration is what they specifically intend to accomplish with the contract. Any party considering a marital contract is well-advised to seek counsel from a skilled marital agreements attorney in Florence.
State Requirements for a Legally Binding Marital Agreement
Generally, marital agreements must be in writing and voluntarily signed by both parties. Both spouses must disclose all their assets and liabilities before entering the contract. If one of them lies about their financial status, and the other party relies on that false information and signs the agreement, a court could subsequently invalidate it.
Additionally, neither party’s agreement can be the result of fraud, a mistake, or duress. However, it is important to note that one party’s threat not to marry the other unless they sign a prenup does not necessarily constitute duress, and a court could deem the couple’s prenup valid under these circumstances.
Learn More from a Florence Marital Agreements Attorney
Marital agreements are not for everyone, but many couples in committed relationships may find them useful planning tools to avoid costly disagreements over finances, assets, and their children’s care. Contact a Florence marital agreements lawyer to get more information about these contracts. You can protect yourself in the event of a divorce.