Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

The benefits of prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements can do many helpful things beyond simply protecting a wealthy spouse. It is a helpful tool for couples entering a marriage to be familiar with for a variety of reasons. In addition to protecting the assets of one party, prenuptial agreements can protect one party from assuming the debts of the other party; direct how property will be passed if one spouse dies; clarify rights and responsibilities of the spouses during marriage; and avoid lengthy and costly disputes in the event of divorce.

It is important to understand that if the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, state laws will determine how property is divided if the couple divorces. In most states, though they follow different property division laws in the event of divorce, without a prenuptial agreement the couple will share property acquired during the marriage; receive at least a portion of the other's property in the event of death; share equally in debts acquired during marriage; and share responsibilities for managing property acquired during marriage.

A valid prenuptial agreement allows couples to determine how they want property to be divided should they ever divorce. Prenuptial agreements can address certain concerns couples may have but may not address others so it is helpful for couples to understand what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot do. In addition, there are certain requirements in each state for a prenuptial agreement to be valid so it is important that the couple is also familiar with what those requirements are in their state.

Prenuptial agreements are often misunderstood so it is helpful for couples approaching marriage to ensure they understand the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements allow couples entering a marriage to make a number of important decisions for themselves and, for that reason, are worth a look.

Source:, "Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?" Accessed Aug. 29, 2017

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