Prenuptial agreements: frequently asked questions

There are a few basic key questions that people who are soon to be married ask about prenuptial agreements.

Many couples who are getting married in Maryland have the possibility of future divorce as one of the last things on their minds, if they even consider it at all. However, statistics have shown that it is not unlikely for a married couple in this country to split up. The American Psychological Association states that the rate of divorce in the US is 40 to 50 percent. Life often throws in unexpected changes and things can look very different several years down the line. One way that people insure their assets against this possibility is to draft out a prenuptial agreement.

What does a prenuptial agreement cover?

The main way in which prenuptial agreements are used is to determine the way in which debts, wealth, and other assets will be divided in case of a divorce. There are, however, a lot more possible ways to draft one of these agreements, including entering an order to prevent public slander between ex-spouses. When this is done on an individual basis, it is known as a goodwill clause, while when it has to do with protecting corporate or business interests, it is called a gag order. There are other diverse types of clauses that can be included, such as designated lump sum payments in certain events, determination of who will get custody of a pet and many other aspects of lifestyle.

Why draft a prenuptial agreement?

By establishing the conversation about what would be practical in the case of a future event, a lot of unneeded stress from unexpected twists can be avoided. While there are ways in which the court determines the splitting of assets during a divorce, a prenuptial agreement allows couples to decide themselves how this will be done. One such issue that can be addressed is debt, for instance, which is sometimes viewed by the courts during a divorce as the joint responsibility of a couple.

Who should get a prenuptial agreement?

Whether or not to make one of these agreements depends on the individuals' past experiences and their current amount of wealth. For those with amounts of assets totaling six figures or greater, it is possible for a divorce to be very expensive, and it may be pragmatic to take steps to protect such funds. It is also true that if somebody has been through a prior divorce, he or she might see more reason to make an agreement, such as making clauses in the interest of children from a past marriage.

If an engaged couple in Maryland is considering their future, the conversation about possibly forming a prenuptial agreement may be worth having. Consulting with an attorney in the local area who practices family law may provide insight when it comes to making these decisions.