Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?


People who are preparing to marry may want to consider whether their situation would be best to enter into a prenuptial agreement.  Prenups are not for everyone.  They work best for people who want to maintain their own separate assets and income into the future.  


While some couples tend to shun the thoughts about "what happens if we divorce," be assured that prenuptial agreements are not precursors to divorce.  Many couples now realize that prenups are a practical part of a successful estate plan.  


What is a Prenuptial Agreement?


A prenuptial agreement is a contract a man and a woman enter into before marriage.  The contract lists the assets and debts each person has going into the marriage.   Both parties agree to each person's property rights should the marriage end in divorce.  In effect, the parties agree to modify or give up certain rights to assets of their future spouse, which they otherwise would receive simply because of the marriage.


Assets could include their prospective spouse's real estate or inheritance, rights to inherit property from their spouse in the event of death, and other rights endowed to a wife or husband by virtue of the marriage.


Prenuptial agreements can help couples avoid an expensive divorce litigation.  Prenups are not for everyone though.  Prenuptial agreements can be a wise choice for the following:

  • Own a small business
  • Partners in a family business
  • Have children from previous marriage or relationship
  • Own a home, stock, real estate, or any other assets that could be profitable in the future
  • May receive an inheritance
  • Wish to cover alimony issues in the event of divorce


In Alabama, prenuptial agreements are flexible tools that can be used in many proactive ways.  I will advise you about all the options appropriate for your situation.  While prenuptial agreements can cover a variety of issues, it cannot be used in any manner to determine child custody or child support.


Are Prenuptial Agreements binding in Alabama?


Yes!  When they are handled properly and formally, prenuptial agreements are enforceable in court.  To ensure your prenuptial agreement is binding, both parties must be represented by separate attorneys, preferably from separate law firms.  This approach helps eliminate claims of force, fraud, or unreasonable pressure from one spouse upon the other.  Also, each partner must list all of his or her assets for a prenuptial agreement to be valid.  Failure to do so may result in the prenuptial agreement be ruled an invalid.  Also, you should execute the agreement as far in advance of the wedding as possible, rather than a week or day before the wedding.


What can be included in a Prenuptial Agreement?


Many property and financial conditions and requirements should be outlined in the preparation of a prenuptial agreement.  It is also essential that both parties completely disclose all assets and debts during the drafting of a marital prenup.  Other items to be included are:


  • What happens to inheritable financial assets earned by both spouses while married
  • What happens if a spouse dies
  • What happens to assets and debts realized before the marriage
  • What happens to assets and debts realized during the marriage
  • How will assets be divided between children of the expected marriage and all previous marriage and relationships


Every situation is different and it is important that you consult with a family law attorney with significant experience in this area.  If this is an option you are considering, call Melissa Miller Law Firm, LLC and we will be glad to advise you about executing a prenuptial agreement.



Contact us today for an initial consultation for your Prenuptial Agreement.




Prenuptial Agreements

Melissa Miller Law Firm, L.L.C.
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