Who Should Get a Marital Agreement?
Many believe marital agreements only protect the assets of a wealthy spouse from the other, less wealthy spouse. Others believe that marital agreements are entered into because one or both of the parties believe that the failure of the marriage is inevitable. Another myth is that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements harm the less wealthy spouse.
The truth is that well-crafted marital agreements can protect both parties, regardless of wealth or status. An agreement can obligate a wealthier spouse to not leave a poorer spouse “high and dry” in a divorce. It can also help wealthier spouses protect certain assets when agreeing on divorce terms. If the union is a second marriage, it can also help ensure the legacies of any children from previous relationships.
In truth, couples should consider a marital agreement in several instances, including when one party is considerably wealthier than the other. Other issues include, but are not limited to, when one or both spouse:
- Enters a marriage with considerable debt
- Owns valuable property, businesses, or other assets
- Has been married before
- Has any children from prior relationships
The Truth About Prenuptial
& Postnuptial Agreements
In addition to protecting each spouse’s interests, marital agreements provide each party with a legally binding contract that sets expectations that will make dissolving the marriage smoother and less stressful, should it ever come to that.
Prenuptial agreements require that each party fully disclose all assets and debts. That knowledge is often vital when couples begin to have conversations about their priorities and expectations for the marriage. Once married, marital agreements can also protect both parties when emotions, family, finances, and other marital aspects change over the course of time.
How Easy Is It to Enforce
a Marital Agreement?
Tennessee law specifically addresses the enforceability of marital agreements. The court will enforce prenuptial and postnuptial agreements if they appear “to have been entered into by such spouses freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse.”
If the court finds this to be true, the agreement will be binding and the provisions will be enforced, as is with any other lawful contract.
Hire an Experienced Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Attorney in Chattanooga, TN
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not harbingers of a failed marriage. They are designed to protect the interests of both parties in the event that the marriage does not last. That’s why it is important to consult your own family law attorney to ask questions, get answers, and draft an agreement that can protect both you and your spouse in the event that divorce ever occurs.