It is important to consider whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate given a couple’s financial circumstances when contemplating marriage. This is particularly essential when one party may have accumulated significant assets, holds an interest in a business, or has child(ren) from a previous relationship prior to entering into marriage. These assets may include, but are not limited to, homes, retirement and investment accounts, and/or business interests. Although the assets an individual owns at the time of marriage remain separate property of that individual, the increase in value or appreciation of these assets is a marital property subject to equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding.
A prenuptial agreement is a document which allows parties to exclude property, including the appreciation of value of separate premarital assets, which would be characterized as marital property in a divorce. It also permits parties to address issues of inheritance and beneficiary designation or distribution of certain assets upon death, which may otherwise be automatically designated to a surviving spouse. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement authorizes parties to pre-determine how marital assets and debts should be allocated in the event of a divorce or separation.
Consulting a family law attorney with experience and knowledge of prenuptial agreements is recommended for couples considering one to determine whether such an agreement is appropriate. For more information or further evaluation of your individual financial needs and circumstances, contact one of the family law attorneys at Reilly Wolfson by visiting reillywolfson.com or calling 717-273-3733.