We live during an era when a lot of marriages end in divorce. Depending on the source you’ll see some slightly varying statistics and there are demographic variances, but it is safe to say that approximately 40% to 50% of the marriages that take place in the United States end in divorce. When you consider this number you can see why entering into a premarital agreement may be a good idea.
Premarital agreements sometimes get a bad rap because asking your spouse to sign a contract delineating the personal property of each individual can be viewed as insensitive or lacking in commitment. There may be some truth to this if you’re talking about a marriage between two young adults who have no children.
But in reality, most of the people who get divorced remarry. In most of these instances children from previous marriages exist. You never know how your second or third marriage is going to end, and you may well predecease your new spouse. So if you want to make sure that your children are provided for by asserting personal ownership of your assets via the of the execution of a premarital agreement it is totally understandable.
It is important to recognize the fact that you can also enter into a post-nuptial agreement after you are already married. What if you want to start a business with the intention of leaving it to your son after you pass away and your spouse would rather place that money into a trust? You can have the best of both worlds by executing a post-nuptial agreement that divides community property. You can then start the business with your portion, and your spouse could create the trust with his or her portion.
Premarital and post-marital agreements are useful legal tools, nothing more or less. If you are interested in executing such an agreement, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.