A marriage is the joining together of two separate lives. When you marry your partner, you begin to share financial assets during the marriage. The marital property that accumulates during marriage belongs to both parties, and if those parties should separate, each person has a claim to a portion of the marital assets.
Ohio state law guides the division of property after divorce; however, there are many situations where you might want to strongly consider the potential benefits of a prenup. A prenuptial agreement can help you protect your material wealth and your rights.
Would a prenup be beneficial for your situation?
Typically, there are two main reasons for people to consider a prenup. Either the two parties have a disparity in their assets, with one party holding significantly more wealth, or the individuals may have children from a previous marriage that they intend to protect.
Along those lines, a prenup can protect a person's assets, protect an individual from having to assume the debts of another, determine how assets will transfer upon death, and generally clarify rights, roles and responsibilities, which can help avoid a costly and lengthy legal process in the event of a divorce.
What happens when there is no prenup?
Many unions occur with the absence of a prenup. If you decide to divorce without a prenup in place, your divorce will abide by state law. State law will determine the division of your marital assets and debts. Your spouse usually has a right to share in your assets that were accumulated during the marriage, and he or she will also share responsibility for any debts from this period.
Reasons to deviate from state law
If you have valid reasons to depart from state divorce laws, such as children or sums of personal wealth, you can protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement. While every state allows prenuptial agreements, a judge will still review them to ensure that the contract is valid and enforceable. If the agreement is unfair, it can be set aside.
Seeking help with prenuptial agreements
Due to the possibility that a prenuptial agreement could be found invalid and with so much at stake financially, it may prove invaluable to take advantage of the resources available to you before and during the process of drawing up an adequate and legally binding agreement. An experienced family law attorney can answer all of your questions and concerns, help to ensure all of your future wishes are covered within your agreement, and carefully guide you through every step of this process.