Why Couples Choose Prenuptial Agreements

Why Couples Choose Prenuptial Agreements

For many, prenuptial agreements may seem like only something that celebrities choose to enter into to protect their wealth. However, prenuptial agreements offer concrete benefits to many couples, regardless of their financial status. The following are several reasons why couples opt to take this route:

  • Gives you control: With a prenuptial agreement in place, you can rest easy knowing exactly how your assets will be divided should you and your spouse divorce. Without this type of contract, property will be subject to negotiations between you and your spouse’s attorney, or be divided by a court according to state law.
  • Avoids arguments: While no one wants to think about divorce when they are about to get married, having a prenuptial agreement gives each spouse realistic expectations about what will be provided in case the relationship dissolves. This can reduce arguments in divorce proceedings because both parties have already agreed to the breakdown of asset ownership.
  • Passes down property: If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be used to bestow assets to those children in the case of your death. Should you die without this agreement in place, the majority of property could be divided according to Utah State law and will most likely be passed down to your spouse.

  • Protects against debts: If one spouse is entering into the marriage with considerable debt, a prenuptial agreement can protect the other partner from being liable for those debts should the marriage end. This can be especially beneficial to spouses of business owners who have taken financial risks for the sake of a company.

Property Division Processes in Utah Divorces

In the state of Utah (as in most other states), all marital property is subject to equitable distribution during divorce proceedings. Marital property is defined as any type of property acquired during the marriage, not including any property acquired by gift or inheritance during that time period.

Common examples of marital property include real estate, bank accounts, pensions, businesses interests and professional licenses, as well as more tangible property like cars, boats and other possessions jointly owned by the couple.

The first step of any property division process in Utah is to classify all property owned by the couple as marital or non-marital property. Once all marital property is itemized and then evaluated for worth, the court will begin the process of making an equitable distribution of that property. During that process, the court will consider factors such as:

  • The income of both parties during the marriage and at the time of the separation and divorce filing, as well as the likely future financial situation for each party following the divorce and the tax consequences for each party
  • The duration of the marriage, as well as the age and health of both spouses
  • The need of either custodial parent to occupy or own their marital residents and other items in the household
  • Whether marital property in question is liquid or non-liquid
  • Loss of inheritance or pension rights
  • Any transfers of property that may have occurred below market value in one party’s anticipation of a divorce, as well as any wasteful dissipation of any of the marital assets by either spouse

Free Initial Consultation with a Prenuptial Lawyer in Utah

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Good and Bad of Prenuptial Agreements

The truth is, marriage is not only a romantic relationship, but also a sort of business relationship. This dual nature and purpose of marriage has led to the increased acknowledgment that a prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement or prenup, for short) can be useful to protect each spouse’s financial interests. If you’re about to get married, or going to get married for a second time, you should talk to a prenuptial agreement attorney so you don’t get screwed. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of entering into a valid prenuptial agreement based on your state’s laws.

Good and Bad of Prenuptial Agreements

Pros of Prenups

  • A premarital agreement can protect the inheritance rights of children and grandchildren from a previous marriage.
  • If you have your own business or professional practice, a premarital agreement can protect that interest so that the business or practice is not divided and subject to the control or involvement of your former spouse upon divorce.
  • If one spouse has significantly more debt than the other, a premarital agreement can protect the debt-free spouse from having to assume the obligations of the other.
  • If you plan to give up a lucrative career after the marriage, a premarital agreement can ensure that you will be compensated for that sacrifice if the marriage does not last.
  • A premarital agreement can address more than the financial aspects of marriage, and can cover any of the details of decision-making and responsibility sharing to which the parties agree in advance.
  • A premarital agreement can limit the amount of spousal support that one spouse will have to pay the other upon divorce.
  • A premarital agreement can protect the financial interests of older persons, persons who are entering into second or subsequent marriages, and persons with substantial wealth.

Cons of Prenups

  • The agreement may require you to give up your right to inherit from your spouse’s estate when he or she dies. Under the law, you are entitled to a portion of the estate even if your spouse does not include such a provision in his or her will.
  • If you contribute to the continuing success and growth of your spouse’s business or professional practice by entertaining clients or taking care of the home, you may not be entitled to claim a share of the increase in value if you agree otherwise in a premarital agreement. Under the laws of many states, this increase in value would be considered divisible marital property.
  • Starting a relationship with a contract that sets forth the particulars of what will happen upon death or divorce can engender a sense of lack of trust.
  • It can be difficult to project into the future about how potential issues should be handled, and what may seem like an inconsequential compromise in the romantic premarital period may seem more monumental and burdensome later on.
  • A low- or non-wage-earning spouse may not be able to sustain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed during the marriage if the agreement substantially limits the amount of spousal support to which that spouse is entitled.
  • In the “honeymoon” stage of a relationship, one spouse may agree to terms that are not in his or her best interests because he or she is “too in love” to be concerned about the financial aspects and can’t imagine the union coming to an untimely end.

Free Initial Consultation with Prenup Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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