What are Pre and Post Marital Agreements?
Marriage is first and foremost about two people loving and committing to each other. However, in our society, marriage is also an legal and financial structure. Given this fact, it makes sense that we would want to have some kind of document governing our marriages. Enter pre and post marital agreements.
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Pre-Marital agreements – the Prenup
The Prenup, short for prenuptial agreement, is the most well-known type of marital agreement. This is probably due to the fact that it has been more common historically. A prenuptial agreement can do a variety of things. Some things a prenup is commonly used for are:
- Establishing rights and obligations to property and debts from before the marriage – this is the most common reason people associate with a prenup
- Establishing rights and obligations to property and debts acquired during the marriage – this can apply to specific items or more generally.
- Establishing what will be done in the event of separation or divorce – many couples choose to add the equivalent or an arbitration clause to their prenup, agreeing that any disputes resulting from the marriage will be handled via mediation or the collaborative process rather than litigation.
- Establishing what would happen in the event of the death of one or both spouses – a marital agreement can also set out terms for disbursement of a life insurance payout.
Some people recoil at the idea of a prenuptial agreement because they think it means they are planning on getting divorced. Really, this is a little like saying the only reason to get car insurance is if you plan on getting in a crash. A prenuptial agreement can actually strengthen a marriage and solve financial issues between spouses. If your marriage does end in divorce, a pre or post marital agreement can save you and your spouse a huge amount of stress.
Check back soon for Pre and Post Marital Agreements in New Mexico, Part 2