Considerations When Drafting A Prenuptial Agreement – Part 1

It seems that more and more people contemplating marriage these days are open to the idea of having a prenuptial agreement. What was once thought of as a way to keep a new spouse from getting more than they deserve in the event of a divorce is now thought of as a way to protect both parties and clarify each parties’ property, before marriage, so that everyone is on the same page in the event the marriage doesn’t work out. If you are considering having a prenuptial agreement, you should speak to a qualified attorney who is familiar with drafting prenuptial agreements. Before meeting with an attorney, or attempting to write your own pre-nup, you should consider the following information:

1. Your income and your spouse’s income

In considering a premarital agreement, one of the biggest issues is whether to keep your salary separate after marriage or to combine income and consider it community property. In drafting your prenuptial agreement, you should think about whether you intend to have your incomes combined and whether, upon a divorce or legal separation, the incomes will be considered separate or community property.

2. Property Purchased During the Marriage

Another big issue in writing a prenuptial agreement is whether property, like a house or a car, will be considered community property or separate property. In writing your prenuptial agreement you should think about whether you alone will be buying these items or whether your soon to be spouse will contribute to the purchase. You should also consider what will happen to the item in the event you divorce – will the item be sold? Would you like to retain the property? Would you be willing to let the other party keep the property? Considering these questions will help your attorney draft a thoughtful prenuptial agreement.

3. Property Purchased Prior to Marriage

It is not unusual that parties considering a prenuptial agreement have accumulated property in their own name, before they marry. In writing a prenuptial agreement you need to consider whether you intend to allow your soon to be spouse to take an ownership interest in this property.

4. Expenses After Marriage

In considering your prenuptial agreement, you may want to specify how your day-to-day living expenses will be paid after you marry. Will one party solely pay for all of the living expenses? Will you establish a joint account to pay for these expenses? Will one party pay for certain items while the other party pays for other things? These questions should be contemplated before your prenuptial agreement is drafted.

We hope this article has been helpful and has shed some light on some of the things you can consider when drafting a prenuptial agreement. If you or someone you know needs a prenuptial agreement, call us today at (702) 433-2889.