HOW DOES A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT PROTECT YOU FROM DEBT?
When a couple approaching marriage chooses to create a prenuptial agreement, they have a number of protections available. Many people often assume that prenuptial agreements are only useful to those who anticipate divorce and want to ensure that the settlement is straightforward, but this is simply untrue. Among the most important protections a prenuptial agreement can provide are legal boundaries between spouses and each other’s debts.
After a couple marries, many of their possessions cease to be solely their own and become legally the property of both spouses, known as marital property. This does not only apply to assets, but also includes liabilities. This means that one spouse may unwittingly assume responsibility for the other’s debts, and his or her assets may be threatened by creditors or others seeking repayment for those debts.
Prenuptial agreements allow spouses to designate their debts as solely their own, protecting each other from parties seeking payment. If, for instance, one party enters the marriage with significant personal debt in student loans or credit cards, he or she may use a prenuptial agreement to separate that debt from the other spouse, protecting the other spouse’s business or some other asset. Without this protection, creditors may have the opportunity to pursue repayment not only from the owing spouse’s property, but from the other spouse’s property as well.
If you and your future spouse hope to create a strong future together, it is wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. An experienced family law attorney can help ensure that you understand the full scope of the issues at hand and guide you as you create an agreement that represents your relationship and protects your rights and priorities as you enter an exciting new season of life.
Source: FindLaw, “Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?,” accessed March 14, 2018