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Prenuptial agreements: one way to protect your assets

Would a marriage contract help reduce some of the stress when a couple chooses to get divorced? While residents in Tennessee don't have the option of creating a contract that defines all obligations during and after a marriage, couples getting ready to wed may consider a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement can help protect both spouses in the event of a divorce, specifically in the area of property division. But why do some couples opt for a prenup while others do not? And what do couples have to take into consideration before signing the agreement?

Couples who have a lot of wealth going into a marriage may consider a prenuptial agreement in order to protect their assets. Others may do so in order to provide a sense of security in the event of a divorce. But couples should make sure that the prenuptial agreement addresses the important issues before signing the agreement.

Rarely do two people enter into a marriage thinking that it will eventually end. But what if it does? Who gets what after the divorce? Does the property get split evenly or does it depend on who acquired it? Can one spouse walk away with everything and leave the other with nothing?

A prenuptial agreement can specifically state who will get what property and how it will be divided. It can help protect both spouses from feeling short-changed if the two separate. It can offer a practical sense of security.

Though a prenup will help keep things as simple as possible during a divorce, creating the actual agreement can be complicated. In order to best protect yourself if a divorce occurs, someone who understands prenuptial agreements and divorce law should review the agreement to reduce the risk of any surprises later on down the line.

Source: Huffington Post: "Divorce and the Marriage Contract," Lee Block, Oct. 26, 2011

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