Wedding planning is a busy time for fiancées. While couples are planning the flower arrangements, seating chart, and the first dance, many may neglect to consider a less exciting decision: whether or not they will enter a premarital agreement. Marriages are legal relationships, and prenuptial agreements serve many purposes when it comes to safeguarding a person’s assets.

Although it is wise to enter a premarital agreement to avoid future expensive conflict, parties sometimes fail to enter one of these agreements before they take their vows. Fortunately, individuals can also enter a postnuptial agreement that will serve many of the same purposes as a prenuptial agreement. In either case, it is essential to discuss legal options related to these documents with an Arlington marital agreement lawyer. An experienced family law attorney can walk someone through the drafting of marital agreements and explain the purposes, benefits, and restrictions of each type of agreement.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement can detail any property that two parties wish to protect in the event of a divorce. For instance, if one of the parties has inheritance property, family heirlooms, or other assets they acquired prior to their marriage, they can enter an agreement that allows them to keep those assets as their separate property. If one or both of the individuals have children from a prior relationship, a prenuptial agreement can protect those children’s inheritance.

Individuals should not view a prenuptial agreement as an indicator that the parties lack confidence in their relationship. These agreements allow individuals to openly discuss their financial situations and expectations before entering their marriage. The law dictates that these agreements must be fair and equitable, giving a couple a middle ground to sort out important aspects of their marriage.

Negotiating the terms of a premarital agreement can create a clear understanding between the parties. The terms of the document must be in writing, and both parties must sign voluntarily. A skilled attorney can help Arlington couples draft a premarital agreement that works in the best interest of both parties.

Postnuptial Agreements

A postnuptial agreement serves a similar purpose to a prenuptial agreement by detailing how the parties wish to divide property and whether one party will pay alimony if the individuals decide to divorce. Sometimes, parties will enter a postnuptial agreement because they failed to enter a prenuptial agreement but believe this document will benefit them. Other times, a change in financial circumstances or a new business may push a couple to enter a postnuptial agreement.

Marital agreements can safeguard business interests and protect companies in the event that individuals end their marriage. Some couples may choose to enter a postnuptial agreement when they are having a challenging time in their relationship. Entering a postnuptial agreement can provide some peace of mind regarding the parties’ assets.

After entering a postnuptial agreement, the parties might be able to better focus on their relationship without worrying about posturing for a possible divorce. A well-practiced attorney can provide counsel regarding the ways in which a postnuptial agreement in Arlington may serve the party’s interests.

Exclusions in Arlington Marital Agreements

A marital agreement cannot detail custody arrangements in a marital agreement, or waive child support. Courts will need to evaluate the best custody arrangement for the children involved if a couple chooses to end their marriage.

The state has guidelines regarding how to calculate child support payments. Child support is a child’s right, and therefore parents cannot negotiate the terms of such support.

Marital agreements also cannot include details regarding how the parties should conduct themselves within the marriage. These documents are effectively a tool that individuals can use to plan and protect their financial health. An Arlington attorney can explain the terms of marital agreements and what cannot be included to interested couples.

Contact a Marital Agreements Lawyer in Arlington Today

Entering a marital agreement can protect both spouses. Having a mature conversation with your significant other about finances can improve your confidence in your relationship and allow you to protect yourself and your family. An Arlington marital agreements lawyer can walk a couple through the drafting of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and ensure that the document is fair and equitable. Call today to learn more.