Prenuptial and Post-Marital Agreements
Prenuptial (sometimes called premarital) and post-marital agreements permit couples to define the rights and obligations each owes to the other when entering into or following marriage. By allowing couples to determine what responsibilities they will have as a result of marriage, conflicts and entanglements can be avoided that might otherwise cause the marital partners to hesitate to enter into marriage.
Benefits of prenuptial agreements include:
- Couples entering into marriage later in life can maintain separate estates and minimize concerns of their children over the loss of inheritances.
- Obligations to pay alimony, maintenance or support can be limited or waived where persons marrying seek to avoid long-term financial ties in the event a marriage does not succeed.
- Assets can be protected from creditors of a future spouse. The risks of a future spouse's business to the other spouse can also be minimized.
Marriage Settlement Agreements
On the other hand, where a marriage has come to its end, spouses who are able to resolve the issues of property division, custody and support, without resorting to protracted and costly litigation, may be able to reach settlement terms set out in a marital settlement agreement, sometimes called a marital termination agreement.
As emotionally difficult as ending a marriage can be, couples who do so through negotiation and compromise that results in a marital settlement agreement can make the transition out of marriage with considerably lower costs, both financially and emotionally. A marriage that has not succeeded need not be ended in bitterness and acrimony. A well-crafted marital settlement agreement can avoid the uncertain and costly alternative of litigation in open court.
The law firm of Heston & Heston can help, whether you are beginning or ending a marriage.