What are premarital agreements?
Premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements (prenups), are contracts created and entered into by two individuals planning to get married. For anyone wondering how to manage finances in a marriage, it is worth considering a prenuptial agreement. If it doesn’t work out and the marriage ends with a divorce, how to split finances can be a hot-button issue you might prefer having agreed to already to assist with divorcing amicably.
Define expectations with premarital agreements.
In picking a life partner it could be said that you should never marry someone you can’t stand being divorced from. For so many reasons, this rings true. By utilizing legal documents, such as a premarital agreement, parties to a marriage can help define each person’s expectations surrounding marital property in the event of marital discord.
Premarital agreements often get a bad rap. Words like “unromantic,” “distrust” and “greed” come to mind. But the reality is, a carefully drafted premarital agreement can help create a culture of talking about money and financial openness in a marriage. It can also provide a framework for an amicable separation of the parties, in the unfortunate event of divorce.
Timing is everything.
For prenuptial agreements, Nebraska law are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. Most importantly, a premarital agreement by definition is a contract entered into by prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.
As recently as 2016, the Nebraska Supreme Court reaffirmed the court’s position that Nebraska law does not allow postnuptial agreements unless such agreements are concurrent with a separation or divorce. All of this is to say that, if you are considering a premarital agreement, it has to be made before the wedding.
A word to the wise? Give yourself and your partner more than a few days to consider the document. Allowing ample time to generate a document that suits both parties’ needs will increase the likelihood of success by its terms and allow for full, open and honest communication for everyone involved.
Premarital agreements are not just for divorce.
You know what else? Premarital agreements aren’t just for protecting finances in divorce — these documents can also help govern the distribution of your assets in the event of your death. This is particularly helpful for families formed by a second marriage. By having a comprehensive premarital agreement done before marriage, it allows the parties to preserve their estate planning options down the road.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.