Premarital agreements have become very popular. Increasingly clients recognize that every marriage will end. Some end by divorce, others by death. In a sense, everyone has a premarital agreement, just as everyone has a will. Their “will” or “prenup” is what the statutes provide, and this can radically differ from state to state, laws can change and judges sometimes interpret the law in different ways.
Premarital agreements are contracts and can provide certainly over what assets, including gifts, inheritances, business interests and premarital property will be “his”, what will be “hers”, and what is “ours” whether the marriage ends by death or divorce. Interestedly, many now suggest that those with prenups are significantly less likely to get divorced because discussing a prenup forces a couple to discuss how money will be managed, usually a taboo subject.
The basic structure of prenupts is often quite simple, though the drafting can sometimes be complicated. Premarital agreements are always a bargain compared to the risks and expense they avoid. However, unless they are drafted by an experienced lawyer, they can have disastrous and often unintended consequences.
Parties often express both relief and gratitude when signing their premarital agreement. Their gratitude derives from having learned a great deal about each other and relief from achieving sense of control over their now shared destiny.
This post was written by Bill Howe at Gervurtz Menashe in Portland Oregon. Bill specializes in divorce, custody, alimony, and all areas of family law. For more information about Bill and Gervurtz Menashe please visit www.gevurtzmenashe.com.