Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?
It seems there’s been a rise in the number of requests for a prenuptial agreement among millennials as they move into wedded bliss. With so many start-up businesses and the potential for big money down the road, such contracts are something many find worth considering before tying the knot. To examine the issues, a discussion with a local attorney knowledgeable about such matters is a good idea.
How to Bring up the Issue?
If you’re wondering how to approach such an indelicate topic, you’re not alone. After all, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize the landmines inherent in such a conversation. Your future spouse may be wondering why you’re preparing yourself for a divorce before the wedding certificate is even signed. So how to broach the topic? While some people choose to implicate pressure from parents or estate planners, others simply own up to the fact that it’s something they, themselves have considered. Whatever direction you take, you should be aware that it is one of many difficult discussions you will likely have over the course of a lengthy marriage. Don’t shy away from tough topics now, because it isn’t going to get any easier down the road.
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, meaning that, in the event of a divorce, marital property, any property that was acquired during the course of the marriage (with limited exceptions), must be divided fairly. That means if your start-up really flourished during your time together, your spouse may be entitled to a share of the earnings, whether or not they contributed to the business. Even intellectual property is at risk of division. A prenuptial agreement is a way to build some protections against exactly this issue. It is a straightforward, proactive way to address real issues that might come your way in time.
To be sure, nothing about prenuptial agreements is intended to cheat your loved one or leave one partner high and dry. To the contrary, each person must have competent legal representation during such deliberations, ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of both parties are addressed openly and fairly. As every couple and every set of financial details varies, so, too, will every prenuptial agreement. Your contract will address the specifics of your situation, and both parties will have equal input into it. Certainly, the signatures of both parties are required in order to have any legal weight.
Have the Discussion Now
Because it often requires multiple meetings to draft and finalize these documents, putting off a discussion with your future spouse will only serve to pressurize the situation. At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC, our experienced Baltimore property division lawyers know how to proceed to make this a painless and smooth process. Contact our ethical and effective team to schedule a confidential consultation in our Baltimore office today.