When people hear the term “prenuptial agreement,” they often think of exceptionally rich and famous couples, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who have a “lifestyle clause” in their prenuptial agreement which mandates that Chan have 100 minutes of “alone time” with Zuckerberg and one date night per week. Or Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson, who never got married, but reportedly had a prenuptial agreement in the works with a clause that would force Simpson to pay Romo $500,000 for every pound she gained over 135 pounds.
The truth is that there are several reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial for an ordinary couple. For example, a widow or widower with children from a previous marriage may want to protect those children in the event of a divorce or may not want to leave the majority of the estate to the second spouse, but rather the children, upon death. Premarital agreements can address the distribution of debts and assets in the event of either divorce or death. In addition, they can address alimony, gifts to one another, changing of wills, and several other subjects.
Although the law differs between states, prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable as long as they are not unconscionable. It is best practice (both legally and for the health of your relationship) not to propose your spouse enter into a prenuptial agreement the day of the wedding. Ideally, both parties should be represented by an attorney, and each party should disclose the nature and amounts of their separate debts and assets. Attempts to have one spouse waive child support is void.
If you are thinking about marriage in the near term, please contact a family law lawyer, like a family law lawyer in Montana, about whether a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial for you.
Thanks to Silverman Law Office, PLLC for their insight into whether or not you need a prenuptial agreement.