Protecting your assets and your interests is always important, especially if you are married or plan to be married in the near future. With the help of either a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, you can guard your individual assets and also create clear expectations regarding how your finances and properties will be handled during your marriage. And, should your marriage ever end in divorce, the legally binding prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you begin the process with peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected.
About Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
In the state of Missouri, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are recognized as legally binding contracts created to protect each spouse’s assets. Prenuptial agreements take place before the marriage, while postnuptial agreements can be created at any point during the marriage. Before these contracts are solidified, the court is fastidious about ensuring that both couples have disclosed all of their assets and properties. Otherwise, the document could be skewed and unfair to one party.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be used to emphasize the following:
- The ownership of particular family heirlooms or inheritances
- The individual ownership of particular properties or assets
- Which party is responsible for certain debts
- How step-children will be provided for
- Each spouse’s financial obligations during the marriage
Each spouse’s financial obligations if the marriage should end in divorce
- Including child support and spousal support
- How assets should be divided if the marriage should end in divorce
In certain circumstances, you might also be able to use either of these documents to specify certain expectations during the marriage or after the marriage if it should end in divorce.
As long as the prenuptial or postnuptial is established after both sides have made a full disclosure of all assets and properties, these documents can be upheld in court. If the couple decides to seek a divorce, this can make the process infinitely easier be providing the following benefits:
- Protects separate property from becoming marital property
- Protects the debt-free spouse from paying the debts of the other spouse
- Preserves the financial stability and inheritance rights of any step-children
- Shields any owned businesses from being involved in divorce proceedings
- Could help avoid court litigation and conflict in a divorce
Who Needs a Prenup or Postnup?
Anyone could benefit from creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to protect their business, assets, and other properties. However, there are some individuals who could benefit from these contracts more than most. Individuals who have a large number of assets have more to lose, and should always do what they can to guard their assets, especially in a marriage. Also, those who have been through a divorce with any past marriages might also want to consider a prenup or postnuptial agreement to protect themselves if this marriage should also end in divorce.
Are you interested in establishing a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement? Contact Smith Law Offices, LLC to discuss your case with our St. Charles divorce attorneys.