We all like to believe our love and marriage will last forever; but for your peace of mind, it is sometimes practical to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Prenuptial agreements, also known as antenuptial or premarital agreements, provide a way to protect significant personal assets in the event of divorce. When properly established, a prenuptial agreement can protect homes, investments, business assets and other personal properties.
The Nashville family law attorneys at MTR Family Law, PLLC has assisted couples with negotiating, drafting, and executing prenuptial agreements. These contracts can establish terms regarding important decisions, including asset division and spousal support, in the event of a marriage’s dissolution.
A prenup is a way to keep personal assets acquired prior to the marriage from being considered marital property. In Tennessee, all marital property is subject to equitable division should divorce occur; personal property established in a prenuptial agreement may be exempt from the division or may be divided according to terms other than what the court may deem “equitable.”
Prenuptial agreements can also be used to determine the rights of a spouse regarding such assets during the course of the marriage. For example, you may establish whether a spouse is able to sell a property, be granted power of attorney should you become incapacitated, or wield a vote with your shares in a business.
Prenups cannot be used to determine child custody, child support, or other aspects of parental rights and obligations.
In family law, the underlying goal is to ensure that every family member is properly cared for and the best interests of any minor children are protected. A prenuptial agreement that inherently disadvantages a spouse may not be honored.
Although a prenup may contain clauses regarding asset division, spousal or child support specifications, waivers of parental support and time-sharing rights are not allowed. Any provision that purports to waive these issues will not be enforced by a court.
Remember, the agreement must have been entered into knowledgeable and in good faith; otherwise, the prenuptial agreement may be found invalid. A contesting party will need to show that the execution of the agreement was flawed because the other partner was either coerced, under duress, or the other party had failed to disclose all his/her assets properly.
Preparing for all contingencies is an important step when creating a new life with someone. You want to make sure not only the property you bring into the marriage is protected, but it remains with you if you ever decide to divorce.
If you are planning on getting married, protect your future. Contact the family law attorneys at MTR Family Law, PLLC in Nashville today.