Marriage is a beautiful and memorable phase of life where the husband and wife vow for a lifelong relationship. But, as they say not all stories have a happy ending. Many marriages end up with a bitter experience for the couples and end up as divorces. It is expected that about half a marriages in the United States end up with divorce, which is very alarming divorce rate. The partners go through a very painful phase ending up their dreams, long term goals. Whilst there are ways to fix your troubled marriage, an increasing trend of prenuptials is observed.
Prenuptial – armour in hand
Prenuptial are legal agreements which establish the financial and property rights for the spouses in the event of a divorce. With the current divorce rate observed in many developed nations across the world, these premarital agreements are also equally sought after before the marriage. Whilst protecting the wealthy people from their assets, prenuptials also have below objectives –
- Protect one partner to assume another’s debts
- How property shall be passed on to other partner upon death
- Avoid costly legal affairs and court hearings
- Divide responsibilities in cases of bankruptcies
In case of no premarital agreements, there are many national and state level laws governing the settlement of assets and debts division between the divorced partners. But, such law may seem to be unaccepting for the partners since the properties accrued during marriage are critical in such settlements.
Role of courts in Prenuptials
Although prenuptials are prepared by the couples and their lawyers, the courts scan through them carefully to ensure they are meeting the state laws on marriage. Else, the agreement may not pass through and be kept aside. A basic prenuptial can be created by the couple themselves and it is advisable to consult the attorneys of either side to check for the completeness.
Speak to an experienced Attorney
Since marriage and prenuptials are specialized subjects, there are lawyers practicing them separately. So, the first step is identifying an experienced specialist in prenuptials and gets to draft the agreement with their advice.
Legal recognition in different nations
The legality and usage of prenuptials is varying in different nations. Australia and majority of Europe recognizes prenuptials under identified marriage related laws. In India, prenuptial is a rare concept and only affluent Indians have entered in some instances. There is no governing Law into which such kind of contracts is linked to. Considering the current divorce rate going up, more people may take up.
The United Kingdom doesn’t consider prenuptials as legal. Prenuptials are legal across the fifty states of United States. The mandatory five elements for a valid agreement are –
- Agreement should be in written form
- Should be executed voluntarily
- Full and fair disclosure during execution
- Executed by both parties in front of a notary public.
Prenuptials are recognized legally in South Africa and Thailand under specific laws.
The concept of prenuptials is emerging in the nations where the divorce rate is high and had court hearings on divorce settlements. Since these premarital agreements ease the whole process of settlement and division of assets and debts, they help prepare the couple better even before the marriage and a smooth settlement after divorce.