Prenuptial Agreements For Women

Divorce Attorneys Protecting Women’s Assets and Futures with Prenuptial Agreements 

When you find someone who you love enough to marry, you don’t believe that those feelings will ever change. Therefore, you may not believe that a prenuptial agreement could benefit you. However, a prenup could be an important financial decision, especially if you have significant assets or children from a previous relationship.

The number of marriages that do end in divorce is rising, so a prenup can give you and your spouse peace of mind. The divorce process involves key decisions such as property division and spousal support, and when important decisions are already established, it can make the whole process much easier for everyone involved.

If you and your spouse do decide to get a prenup, then it is important that you have the support of an experienced family law attorney. They will make sure that your rights are protected and that the agreement considers your needs. An attorney will also ensure that your prenup is valid and, therefore, enforceable if you ever need it.

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we exclusively represent women. All of the attorneys at our law firm share a passion for empowering women. Our dedication to women gives us a unique advantage when it comes to meeting their needs and protecting their future.

Arrange a free consultation with one of our prenuptial agreement lawyers today at 380-212-3731. We represent women across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

A key hanging in the lock of a door with the symbol of a house on the keychain.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a premarital agreement or prenup, is a written contract that spouses can decide to enter before they are married; it is usually a way to protect both parties’ financial interests. Most prenups are used to determine how property will be divided and whether spousal support will be awarded.

In equitable distribution states,  marital property is divided in a fair and reasonable manner upon divorce. This is in contrast to community property states, where marital property is divided equally. A prenup will override state law so that you can decide how your assets will be divided upon divorce and not the court.

However, you should take great care when agreeing to a prenup to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Prenups are also closely scrutinized by the court upon divorce, and you must ensure that your prenup is enforceable in the eyes of the law. That is why it is important to have the support of a family law attorney.

The Gender Wealth Gap and Women

You are probably aware of the gender pay gap, which is the unfortunate fact that women, on average, earn less than men. However, there is also a gender wealth gap, which is the money that women have compared with men rather than what they earn.

The discrepancy in gender wealth cannot only be a result of the gender pay gap. A perhaps larger contributing factor is that women are more likely to take time away from work after childbirth to care for their newborns. When they do return to work, they may work for fewer hours or sacrifice career growth in order to care for their children.

Less wealth for women can translate into less agency and power in their marriages and divorces. They may feel dependent on their partner, which can be an unhealthy dynamic for both men and women.

However, when a prenup is written with the gender wealth gap in mind, it can financially empower women and help create relationship dynamics based on trust and communication. Therefore, it is important to have the support of an attorney who understands women’s needs and can help you create a fair and protective prenup.

How Could a Prenuptial Agreement be Beneficial for Women?

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we offer a free consultation, so if you are unsure as to whether a prenup could benefit you, do not hesitate to contact us. We will assess your situation and let you know whether a prenup could be beneficial and what exactly it could do for you.

As well as protecting your property interests, prenups can also help you and your spouse to make decisions while you are getting along with each other, which helps prevent conflict during divorce.

When done correctly, a prenup can provide peace of mind. It ensures that your spouse, children, and assets are protected and that if you do divorce or, in the event of a spouse’s death, you already have an agreement in place.

Although prenups are often stigmatized, they are a form of life-planning. Although you have high hopes for the future, preparing for the worst can help secure long-term plans.

Some common reasons why couples agree to a prenup include:

  • You or your spouse already have children from a previous marriage and want to protect their inheritance
  • Resolve possible disputes before they occur
  • Protect your existing assets, ensuring that they remain separate property
  • Protect business assets
  • Protect retirement accounts
  • Protect yourself from sharing your partner’s debt
  • Prepare for the possibility of either spouse’s death
  • Avoid or reduce the cost of litigation in the event of a divorce
  • Determine how living expenses and bills will be paid in the event of a divorce
  • Secure a spousal support agreement if the marriage ends
A woman discussing her prenup with her female divorce attorney.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement Include?

Each state has its own laws about what can and can’t be included in a prenup. Therefore, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help ensure that your contract is valid. If your contract is not valid, then it will not be enforceable.

However, some common things that prenuptial agreements include are:

Identify and Separate Property

When a couple decides to divorce, one of the first tasks is to identify their separate and marital property and determine how marital property should be divided.

Separate property is assets that either spouse owned before marriage or those acquired through inheritance or gifts. Premarital property continues to belong to each individual after marriage.

Marital property is assets that either spouse acquired during the marriage, and in equitable distribution states, they are separated in a manner that is considered just and fair.

A prenup can help couples avoid a lengthy legal battle over what property division will look like upon divorce. The agreement can identify each spouse’s separate property and how marital assets will be divided upon divorce.

Determine Spousal Support

In the event of divorce, one spouse is sometimes required to pay spousal support payments to the other. The agreement will depend on many factors, such as the length of the marriage and whether one spouse gave up job opportunities to care for children.

Spousal support payments are often temporary and give one spouse enough time to undergo training or education and find work that will allow them to be self-sufficient.

A prenup can include an agreement for spousal support, including how much the payments will be and how long they will be given so that you are financially protected in the event of a divorce.

Spousal support could also be ordered indefinitely if the receiving spouse is incapacitated by a physical or mental condition. If the couple has a child who is mentally and physically incapacitated, then this may also justify an ongoing spousal support order, as one spouse may have to sacrifice a job in order to care for their child.

Identify and Separate Debts

An essential component of a valid prenup is full disclosure of assets and debts. Your agreement should identify how debts will be separated upon divorce and who will be responsible for paying them. This could be particularly beneficial if one spouse is entering the marriage with significant debt.

Protect Inheritance From Children From a Previous Marriage

If you or your spouse has children from a previous marriage, the prenup could help ensure that your children inherit their share of your estate in the event of your death. For example, your spouse could give up their right to a claim on your property in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of assets.

What Can’t a Prenuptial Agreement Include?

Whether or not you have a prenup, there are several key issues that will need to be addressed before your marriage can be terminated. Although a prenup may ensure that some decisions have already been made, such as those involving property division, spousal support, debt, and inheritance rights, there are other issues that cannot be decided. These issues will need to be addressed during the divorce process.

Child Custody

Child custody cannot be determined in a prenup. In the event of divorce, you may work together to determine custody, or it could be dictated by a Judge. The court will always have authority over child custody, and decisions must be made with the child’s best interests at heart.

Child Support

States have specific laws that dictate whether child support should be ordered upon divorce and their value.

Daily Tasks

It is common for couples entering a marriage to want to include provisions regarding house chores and duties. However, it prohibits any clause that requires either party to complete a task or function.

How To Make a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable

In the event of a divorce, a Judge will review your prenuptial agreement. If they do not consider it to be lawful, then it will not be enforceable.

To ensure that your prenup is enforceable, you should:

Seek Help From a Family Law Attorney

Seeking the help of an experienced attorney, such as those here at Woodford Sathappan McGee, will help ensure that your prenup is valid. Usually, both spouses will have independent legal counsel to ensure the validity of the agreement.

Although you are within your rights to create your own prenuptial agreement, when you have the guidance of an attorney will help you to prevent common mistakes.

Informed Decisions

Valid prenuptial agreements must be free from duress, coercion, and overreaching. Both spouses must be fully informed and have an understanding of the terms of the agreement.

It is good to create your prenup with plenty of time before the marriage so that each spouse has plenty of time to decide whether they are happy with the contract. If the prenup is signed just before the wedding, then it could be presumed to have been created under duress.

Full Disclosure

It is essential that both spouses fully disclose all of their financial matters, including their assets and debts. If one or both parties are found to have hidden assets, then it would make the prenup invalid unless a voluntary waiver has been signed by each party not to share their financial information.

Protect Both Parties

If a prenup creates a hardship for one spouse, then it will not be valid. Therefore, all decisions that are made should consider both spouses’ interests. An attorney will help to ensure that the provisions in your prenup are fair for both spouses.

Do Not Include Invalid Provisions

If your prenup contains invalid provisions such as child support or child custody, then it could make the entire legal document invalid.

Prenuptial Agreements For Women FAQ

Both spouses must agree to a prenup in order for it to be valid. If your spouse does not want a prenup, then you cannot enforce it. One way to help protect your assets is to keep a thorough record of your separate assets.

Yes, it is possible to change or terminate a prenup after marriage. To do so, you will need to enter a new agreement, known as a postnuptial agreement, which alters or invalidates the original prenup. Just like a prenup, a postnup must be agreed upon by both spouses and be legally sound in order for it to be valid.

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, then it is a good idea to start the process as early as possible. That way, you will have plenty of time to review and amend the agreement to ensure it is valid. The sooner it is complete, the sooner you can start planning the more exciting parts of your wedding!

The cost of a prenup varies widely between cases. When you contact Woodford Sathappan McGee for a free consultation, we can advise you on how much your case is likely to cost.

Woodford Sathappan McGee – Protecting the Rights and Interest of Women 

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our attorneys are dedicated to the needs of women. We will help you create a prenup that protects your rights and interests so that you can feel confident and empowered about your future, no matter what happens.

A prenup should address all the things that are important to you and your spouse while being clear and easily understood. We can help ensure that your agreement is comprehensive, valid, and in line with your needs.

We offer a free consultation to all women faced with family law concerns. So speak to a prenuptial agreement attorney today at 380-212-3731