PRENUPTIAL & POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Older couple signing papers

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements allow you to determine what goes to your current spouse and children from a prior relationship, marriage, or marriages. 

A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement can be an effective estate planning tool to ensure that children from prior relationships and your current spouse will be treated in the manner that you wish. A Prenuptial Agreement is executed prior to marriage, while a Postnuptial Agreement is executed after a marriage takes place. Allowing spouses to address how debts are paid, a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement  provides a framework on how debts are divided and arranges for the distribution of assets that exist at the time of divorce or death of one party.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements can be utilized to provide life estates in a home or homes so that the surviving spouse doesn’t find themselves without a place to live, or shut out from enjoying a second home or vacation home. Income from investments can be directed to a surviving spouse with the principal going to children from a prior relationship or marriage. Both of these documents can provide asset protection and address the issue of alimony (known as maintenance in the Commonwealth of Kentucky) in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Addressing the alimony (or maintenance) issue, will allow you to make your estate plans, thereby allowing you to know what financial arrangements you need to make in order to ensure that your estate plan isn’t severely impacted in the event of a divorce. Disputes upon divorce or the death of one party can be settled without the intervention of a court through mediation or arbitration. Both options allow for a faster, less expensive method of settling disputes than traditional courtroom proceedings. Custody matters, child support issues, and parenting schedules cannot be addressed in Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements. 

In order for a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement to be valid and enforceable, there must be full disclosure on both sides of all assets owned or possessed and each party must be represented by their own independent attorney. Unless a Sunset Provision is agreed upon, most Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements continue until the passing of both parties. A Sunset Provision determines that the Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement expires or is no longer valid or enforceable after the passage of a certain period of time, or upon the occurrence of a certain event or series of events.