Prenuptial agreements can be designed to protect more than just premarital assets. They can outline how couples want to divide their future earnings in the event of a divorce.
While many people assume that prenuptial agreements are only useful when one partner brings a significant amount of wealth to the marriage, this assumption is incorrect. Prenuptial agreements are not limited to specifying the division of assets attained before the marriage. They can also be useful in specifying the division of assets that are accumulated during the marriage. There are a number of different situations which warrant a prenuptial agreement when neither partner has a lot of assets before the marriage.
A common example of a situation in which a prenuptial agreement might be necessary is when one partner agrees to support the other during professional or graduate school. Even though neither one of the partners has a lot of money at the beginning of the marriage, supporting the other partner through school can have a great impact on that partner’s future financial success. In a situation such as this, the earning potential of the partner who receives the advanced degree is likely to be much greater than that of the supportive partner.
Without a prenuptial agreement the partner who earned the advanced degree isn’t likely to be obligated to share his or her earnings with the other spouse in the event of a divorce. However, a prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the interests of the supporting spouse by specifying terms for spousal support in the future.
More and more Americans are choosing to become small business owners, and a prenuptial agreement can also protect spouses who have individual interests in forming a business and those who choose to go into business together. A prenuptial agreement can set out rules for how business assets should be handled and divided in the event of a divorce. By agreeing on these issues in advance, both spouses can be confident that their earnings will be divided fairly.
Prenuptial agreements can thus provide couples with a feeling of security about the assets couples accumulate together. An expert family law attorney can help couples draft a prenuptial agreement that will protect the interests of both parties and their future earnings.
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