Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers Providing Legal Services and Advice for Clients Considering a Prenup
You may have heard the term prenuptial agreement – or “prenup” as it is often referred to in informal conversations – but how does this document really work, and should you get one before you get married? Our attorneys give you an overview of prenuptial agreements in Maryland and explain why you may want one and how an attorney can help.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between you and your future spouse. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the couple gets married and is usually used to protect assets, address financial concerns and reduce the chances of potential conflicts between you and your spouse should you end up getting a divorce in the future.
Prenuptial agreements are also beneficial to couples because it promotes a space for the couple to communicate and agree on important matters before they get married. A “prenup” is a written document that is usually notarized and signed by both spouses. It may be best for the couple to write their prenup together, and an attorney can be very helpful in making sure all the important aspects that should be included in the prenuptial agreement are covered.
What Can You Include in a Prenuptial Agreement in Maryland?
There is not a one-size-fits-all prenuptial agreement. Every couple is unique, and so are the terms of their prenup. Open communication with your future spouse is extremely important to build a prenuptial agreement that will work for you.
Many couples include terms that address how assets should be divided in case of a divorce, how property can be bought, sold, or managed by each spouse during the marriage, how retirement accounts and life insurance proceeds should be handled and even expectations for how finances will be handled during the marriage. The terms of a prenuptial agreement can be customized to address your particular concerns.
What Would Make a Prenuptial Agreement Invalid in Maryland?
While there is a wide variety of items that can be addressed on a prenuptial agreement, this type of document cannot address child custody and support matters or pre-determine who gets custody of a child in case of a divorce – especially if the couple does not have children together yet. Child custody and support matters need to be decided by a court if the couple ends up getting a divorce.
Besides that, a few circumstances may make a prenuptial agreement invalid. Under Maryland laws, most prenuptial agreements are enforceable and legally valid unless they were written or signed under coercive or fraudulent circumstances. Coercion, fraud, undue influence, incompetence, or other similar factors may be reasons for a prenuptial agreement to be deemed invalid. Always ask an attorney if you are not sure about whether your prenuptial agreement is valid.
Do I Need an Attorney to Write a Prenuptial Agreement?
While you are not required to have an attorney in order to get a prenuptial agreement written, it may be in your best interest to do so. Working with an attorney is even more important if your future spouse has simply presented you with a prenuptial agreement that you did not write together and is asking you to sign. It is strongly recommended you show your prenuptial agreement to an attorney before signing it to make sure it is written in a fair manner. When done right, a prenuptial agreement can be an important tool to build a strong foundation for your marriage.
An attorney can also be helpful in guiding you and your future spouse through the prenuptial agreement writing process by asking you important questions to make sure your agreement is thorough and covers everything that could potentially trigger a conflict in the future. At Paré & Associates, LLC, our attorneys can help you and your soon-to-be spouse to make plans for the future and craft a prenuptial agreement that will protect your interests and get your marriage started off the right way. Contact our Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland office and request an initial consultation to see how we can help. Call Paré & Associates, LLC today at (301) 962-2492 to schedule a free consultation.