Couples enter into a prenuptial agreement when they are contemplating marriage. A prenup is a valid contract that is used to protect a couple’s assets in the event of a separation or divorce. While it may be difficult to think about a hypothetical split, deeply contemplating these issues at the start of your loving marriage, as opposed to when parties are struggling through a break-down in the relationship, can enable parties to make level-headed and loving decisions regarding alimony and assets distributions. Entering into a prenup with your future spouse could help avoid bitter breakups and could help protect your long-term future.
When you are considering signing a prenup, be sure to consult an Upper Marlboro prenuptial agreement lawyer. A local marital agreements attorney is equipped to answer any questions you have and advise you on the best way to protect your assets going into a marriage. Whether you want to discuss the benefits of a prenup, would like to have one drafted, or do not believe your prenup is valid, we are here to help. Contact our office to learn more about the process.
Prenuptial Agreements in Maryland
A prenup establishes a couple’s intentions regarding property ownership, alimony payments, and distribution of non-marital property in the event of a divorce. This saves couples time and money. While many tend to think of a prenuptial agreement negatively, it can actually give couples peace of mind when committing to each other. There are a variety of reasons to enter into a prenup, but some things to consider include:
- Keeping debts separate;
- Protecting inheritance rights;
- Maintaining family property;
- Setting alimony or spousal support; and
- Clearly defining property ownership.
It is important to note that child support or custody cannot be negotiated as part of a prenuptial agreement. Child support is paid to benefit the child, and as such, parents cannot waive their child’s right to this prematurely. Moreover, life circumstances change, and what is in the best interests of the child at the time of signing the agreement may not be the same after a divorce. For more detailed guidance on drafting or signing prenuptial agreements, reach out to an attorney in Upper Marlboro.
Valid and Enforceable Prenups
A prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable only when it complies with Maryland contract law. A valid contract requires the couple to understand and accept the terms of the agreement and have the capacity to enter into it. An attorney could draft a prenuptial agreement for a couple to ensure it complies with the relevant legal principles.
People involved in the agreement may challenge its legality by providing evidence of the following:
- Illegal provisions;
- Unconscionability; and
- Duress, coercion, or undue influence.
Common issues with prenups involve signing the agreement to close in time to the wedding. When a prenuptial agreement is signed to close in time to the wedding date, a spouse may claim that the agreement was signed under duress. Other issues include a spouse’s failure to disclose assets or the inclusion of unenforceable provisions. When spouses lie about their assets, property, or debt to deceive the other party to the agreement, the prenup could be voided and the assets could be set aside. This means that the non-disclosed asset is part of the couple’s marital estate and is subject to Maryland’s laws regarding equitable distribution of assets. As such, it is crucial to give free and full disclosure when entering into a prenuptial agreement. Hire an experienced Largo prenuptial agreement attorney to assist you.
Discuss Your Marital Union With an Upper Marlboro Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
The decision to enter into a prenup with your future spouse is deeply personal. We understand that creating an agreement that satisfies both couple’s goals is sensitive. An Upper Marlboro prenuptial agreement lawyer could help you understand your rights and the benefits of having a prenup.
It is not easy to contemplate the end of your marriage, but doing so protects your financial future. Contact our office with any questions regarding Maryland’s laws on prenups.