Getting married is often one of the most joyful experiences of your life, but none of us knows what the future holds. A divorce could happen to anyone in the future, and one of the best ways to protect both parties is to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement early on. In a prenuptial agreement, you will decide how your property will be divided if you get divorced, giving you more control over your finances. If you are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement, speaking to an experienced family law attorney will help you decide whether it is right for you. Contact Arnona Rose, Attorneys at Law, today to schedule your initial consultation.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Today, many couples realize that creating a prenuptial agreement is an essential financial tool. Both premarital and postmarital agreements are contracts in which a couple decides how to divide their debts and assets if one spouse dies or gets divorced. Prenuptial agreements become effective and legally enforceable when the couple gets married.
The Benefits of Entering Into a Prenuptial Agreement
Many benefits come with creating a prenuptial agreement. Sometimes our clients want prenuptial agreements to protect their assets when they have significant wealth and are marrying someone with less wealth. Additionally, people with children from previous relationships can use premarital agreements to ensure they can inherit their assets, even if their new spouse claims the assets.
Other individuals may benefit from a premarital agreement because it will provide them with significant tax savings. Perhaps they want to make the divorce process more straightforward and less emotionally charged by planning on how to divide their property ahead of time. When one spouse plans to work and the other spouse plans not to work, a premarital agreement can protect the spouse who chooses to stay home to parent the children. Perhaps one spouse wants to ensure that he or she will receive alimony.
Finally, if one spouse is part of a family business and has concerns about their spouse taking a portion of the business’s ownership, should they divorce. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the business is protected from the spouse’s claims should the couple divorce. The same benefit applies when one spouse is part of a family trust or has significant family wealth.
What Your New Orleans Prenuptial Agreement Should Cover
Every prenuptial agreement is unique, and your agreement’s contents will depend on your financial circumstances and goals. The primary purpose of creating a premarital agreement is to take control of your finances. Without a premarital agreement, you will be at the mercy of a Louisiana family court judge.
If you decide to get divorced after the premarital agreement and you cannot decide how to divide up your property, a judge will determine for you. When creating a premarital agreement, your main goal should be to ensure that each spouse will receive a fair portion of the marital property. Specifically, your premarital agreement should cover the following issues:
- How the spouses intend to pay their expenses during the marriage
- Whether a spouse needs to reimburse the other spouse for specific amounts that he or she spent during the marriage
- How to divide debts and assets if one spouse dies or the couple gets a divorce
- Whether one spouse must pay alimony, including the amount and duration of the alimony, should the couple divorce
- Each spouse’s right to marital and separate property
- Whether the terms of the premarital agreement take effect after one spouse’s death, divorce, or some other event
We Can Help You Ensure Your Prenuptial Agreement is Enforceable
The purpose of creating a premarital agreement is to take control of your finances should you get divorced. Ensuring that your premarital agreement is legally enforceable is crucial. Unfortunately, not all premarital agreements are enforceable. Under Louisiana law, the premarital agreement must be in writing. Additionally, both spouses must sign the premarital agreement in front of a notary, and two witnesses must sign it before the couple gets married.
Additionally, you will need to record the premarital agreement in your parish’s conveyance office. If you live in a different parish than your soon-to-be spouse, you will need to record the conveyance in the office of each parish. If your premarital agreement addresses real property, you will need to record it in the parish in which your property is located. Louisiana courts will refuse to enforce premarital agreements when they do not meet the requirements of Louisiana contracts. The agreement must meet the following requirements:
- Both spouses must be mentally competent, not suffering from mental deficiency, intoxication, or mental illness
- Both spouses must voluntarily and freely sign the agreement
- Both spouses must have honestly disclosed the assets they own and their debts to the other spouse
- Neither spouse can have tricked the other spouse into signing the premarital agreement
- Neither spouse can have forced the other spouse to sign the agreement or have threatened the other spouse with a severe injury to coerce him or her into signing the agreement
The lawyers at Arnona Rose, Attorneys at Law will help you create a comprehensive premarital agreement that addresses all of your important financial issues. We will ensure that your premarital contract complies with Louisiana law and protects you and your financial interests.
Contact a New Orleans Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Talking about a prenuptial agreement may not seem like the most romantic option. However, discussing your finances and openly communicating what you would like to happen should you separate can help both spouses prepare for the future. Our New Orleans premarital lawyers can help you navigate the process of discussing and drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that benefits both spouses. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with Arnona Rose, Attorneys at Law.