Frequently Asked Questions About Premarital Agreements

Why Create a Premarital Agreement?

All marriages come to an end. Either somebody dies or people get divorced. Planning for the end of the marriage is important in all but the simplest of circumstances.

When is a premarital agreement not necessary?

If neither prospective spouse has any children or any premarital wealth or obligations he or she wants to keep separate, then a premarital agreement would not be necessary.

When is a premarital agreement a good idea?

If you have children that are not your prospective spouses children or if you have wealth (property, a trust fund, ownership in a business, etc.) that you want to keep in your family, or negative wealth (extensive debts) for which your prospective spouse does not want responsibility, then a premarital agreement is important to have.

What happens without a premarital agreement?

Without a premarital agreement your spouse, on the day you marry, steps in line in front of your children and receives rights and obligations, including the right to inherit in preference to your children, solely by virtue of the marriage.

What kinds of things are planned for in a premarital agreement?

Basically we plan for the end of the marriage, whether by death or divorce. Often we plan a different outcome based on whether the marriage ends by death or divorce. The plan may be different depending on who dies first. The plan may also include some provisions for managing the marriage during the marriage. Basically, so long as it does not violate public policy, the marriage partners are able to write their own law by contract rather than being governed by the default laws that define rights during and at the end of a marriage.

Planning on getting married? Contact the Law Office of Stephen J. Buhler for help with your premarital agreement.