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Prenuptial Agreement

While it makes most people uncomfortable to entertain the idea of a marriage ending before officially beginning, the reality is that protecting yourself prior to exchanging vows is a practical move that can be designed to benefit both spouses in the event of divorce. At its core, marriage is a legal institution formalized by a contract, so why not execute a pragmatic addendum in the form of a prenuptial agreement? Having a prenup doesn’t make a couple more likely to divorce. It simply takes some of the financial guesswork out of the breakup if love doesn’t last.

The Floyd County prenup agreement lawyers at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law have guided many people through the premarital agreement planning process efficiently and effectively. When you’re ready to discuss developing such a strategy for you and your intended, we are here for you. We understand the sensitive nature of these topics and are committed to providing each of our clients with personal attention. We encourage you to speak candidly about your wishes so that, together, we can draft the best document possible. We also review and negotiate prenups drawn up by other attorneys and represent clients in divorce actions who wish to contest prenups.

To discuss your situation and options, contact our office by calling 812-725-8226 or by filling out our online form.

Popular with people who have experienced a prior divorce, as well as those that have substantial financial assets, a prenuptial agreement allows prospective spouses to make certain decisions ahead of time rather than relying on state law provisions to dictate what happens in the event of a divorce. Such an agreement can reduce unnecessary complications and help relieve some of the uncertainties that can get in the way of starting a marriage off right. Prenups can cover a wide variety of family law and estate planning issues including:

  • Division and classification of property
  • Spousal support
  • Inheritance rights.

However, they cannot be used to modify the child support obligations that either spouse would have if the marriage should end in divorce. Under state law, all property that either spouse owns at the time of a divorce is considered to be marital property, regardless of whether the property is titled jointly or individually or when it was obtained. Marital property is to be divided evenly unless there are good reasons for deviating from this 50/50 presumption – and the decision about which spouse should receive what property is up to the court. Premarital agreements are very effective tools at for avoiding that uncertainty by providing a more definitive course of action for property division. For example, couples can choose to exclude property that they brought into the marriage and only divide that which was acquired during the marriage. Prenups can also be used to modify or eliminate spousal maintenance and to allow spouses to create tailored estate plans that allow them to leave all, some, or none of their estate to their surviving spouse.

When a party files for divorce, the court will review the prenuptial agreement. There are also instances where the agreement is contested by one spouse or by the parents or children of a deceased spouse. To be enforced, at a minimum, it must:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by both parties before the wedding
  • Have been given to the prospective spouse with a reasonable amount of time for review and consideration (several months are preferable) before the wedding
  • Fully disclose all assets and liabilities by both parties
  • Have been entered into freely and without fraud, duress, or misrepresentation.

Both parties should be represented by an attorney, because the interests at stake are separate and may be at odds. Although a spouse can agree to relinquish a number of rights and many prenups can be viewed as unfair to one of the parties, they cannot be unconscionable – they cannot be so grossly unfair that one party would face severe financial hardship while the other prospered. Striving for some degree of fairness makes a prenup less likely to be challenged.

Prenuptial agreements can be very complicated, and those that are properly drafted, negotiated, and executed are very difficult to overcome. Whether you wish to discuss a prenup with your future spouse or you have been presented with such an agreement to sign, it is in your best interests to talk to a lawyer. Find out more by discussing your situation with the IN prenup attorneys at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law. We have years of experience helping people and we can help you. For skilled and knowledgeable representation, contact us by calling 812-725-8226 or filling out our online form. Based in New Albany, Indiana, we proudly serve communities throughout Kentuckiana including, but not limited to, Jefferson County, KY; Floyd County, IN; Clark County, IN; and Harrison County, Indiana.

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