While prenuptial agreements are often associated with the very rich, the truth is that they are becoming more commonplace among middle-class couples and ordinary folk across the U.S. Marriage is essentially a contract between two people to combine their financial resources and operate as a single entity. While that is patently reductive, and there is, of course, a romantic and religious dimension to marriage, you and your partner will be operating as a single financial entity throughout the duration of your marriage. For that reason, you want to familiarize yourself with Indiana’s laws regarding the marital estate and asset distribution. In this article, the Indiana divorce lawyer, Chris Arrington, will discuss prenuptial agreements and how they can protect your rights to certain important properties in Indiana.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a basic contract signed by a couple prior to saying, “I do.” The contract outlines how assets and debts should be handled if the marriage ends in a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are allowed to address the division of property, spousal support (alimony), retirement accounts, debts, attorneys fees, and other financial aspects of the divorce. They can also address what happens in the case of infidelity. They can never address issues related to the children, like child support or child custody.
Why Would I Consider Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement?
Not every married couple will need a prenuptial agreement. However, there are some situations in which a prenup can greatly benefit you. Some common reasons to draft a prenuptial agreement include:
- Protecting a business – If you own a business, you may want to keep it separate from the marital estate. Otherwise, it could be subject to equitable distribution if the marriage fails. With a prenuptial agreement, you can specify how a business is divided during divorce.
- Protection from debt collectors – If one spouse has significant debt, a prenup can help shield the other spouse from absorbing that debt or being harassed by debt collectors.
- Protecting children from a previous marriage – Spouses with children from a previous marriage can protect their inheritance through a prenuptial agreement.
- Protecting retirement accounts – Retirement accounts are subject to equitable distribution in an Indiana divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help you protect your retirement accounts from becoming property of the marriage.
If none of these are a factor for you, then a prenuptial agreement is unlikely to help. However, there are numerous reasons why couples decide to sign prenuptial agreements. While marriage is many things, it is also a financial contract between two parties. It may be beneficial to protect yourself in the case of a divorce. The Indiana divorce attorneys at Chris Arrington can help you and your prospective spouse protect your interests with a prenuptial agreement.
Talk to an Indiana Family Law Attorney Today
Chris Arrington represents the rights of Indiana couples who are interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.