Increasing numbers of spouses are recognizing the value of signing a prenuptial agreement before saying their marriage vows. However, not everyone is convinced of the advantages of what are often called prenups.
Is a prenuptial right for you, and if so, what should be included in it? How can you make sure the agreement is drafted in a way that a court will uphold it? Greenville, SC family law attorney Angela Frazier can evaluate your case and help you draft a prenuptial agreement if it benefits your situation.
Why Use a Prenuptial Agreement?
Although nobody goes into a marriage thinking it will result in divorce, up to half of marriages end up this way. Everyone knows how expensive, stressful, and time-consuming a divorce can be. The prenuptial agreement exists primarily to address a number of financial matters that arise in divorce just in case the marriage ends, such as alimony and property division.
Prenuptial agreements can also handle other issues, some of which are detailed below. By dealing with these at the outset of the marriage, the prenuptial agreement can grant the couple peace of mind in knowing that certain matters have already been settled. This can make the marriage and, if necessary, the divorce go much more smoothly
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
Some couples incorrectly believe that prenuptial agreements are only for individuals who have significant assets they want to protect in the event of a divorce. But in fact, anyone can benefit from having a prenuptial in place, even if divorce doesn’t ultimately happen.
These contracts are typically used for:
- Determining which assets and liabilities will be considered marital for purposes of property and debt division in a divorce
- Setting alimony and spousal support, including the decision to waive it
- Preserving one spouse’s interest in a family business
- Creating inheritance rights, including for children from a previous relationship
- Assigning responsibility for household expenses, debts, and major purchases
- Limiting the liability of one spouse for the debts of the other spouse
- Making a plan to establish and maintain a joint savings account
- Accounting for one spouse’s contribution to the other spouse’s education
- Buying life insurance for the other spouse’s benefit
There are limits to what may be included in a prenuptial agreement. Child custody and child support, illegal terms, and anything incentivizing divorce must be kept out.
When Is a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable in South Carolina?
South Carolina prenuptial agreements are only enforceable if certain procedures are followed in drafting and negotiating them.
As a general matter, a court will likely reject one spouse’s legal challenge to the agreement’s if:
- It was not obtained as the result of fraud, duress, or mistake
- The spouses provided each other with adequate financial disclosure of their assets
- The nature of the assets, including their value, was not misrepresented during the disclosure
- The agreement is not unconscionable, meaning so one-sided and oppressive that no honest or reasonable person would include them
- Nothing has changed since the agreement was entered into that would make it unreasonable and unfair
- The prenuptial was entered into freely and fairly
Attorney Angela Frazier Can Help With Prenuptial Agreements in Greenville
It is critical that both parties retain an experienced prenuptial agreement lawyer before signing anything. If you are the party requesting a prenuptial, you will want your soon-to-be spouse to hire his or her own attorney to review the agreement. When both spouses have legal representation, and they have ample time to consider the prenuptial, it is more likely to be enforced.
Lawyer Angela Frazier can help you draft an agreement that meets the above criteria so a court will likely uphold it if it’s challenged. She can also negotiate the terms of an agreement if you are the party who has been presented with a prenuptial. Regardless of which party you are, she will advocate and defend your best interests. Contact our firm at Elliott Frazier Family, Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys, LLC to get started now.