Getting married is an exciting step in a couple's lives. The couple will inevitably spend a lot of time planning in the time leading up to marriage, whether planning a wedding, planning to purchase a home, or planning a future in general. Of all of the planning that marriage entails, one of the most important—and most overlooked—aspects of a marriage is planning for the protection of the parties' assets. Although most soon-to-be-married couples don't picture a future without their loved one, it's important to have a plan in the event the two parties do not live happily ever after.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement–more commonly known as a prenup–is a legal document that is signed by a couple prior to their marriage. The purpose of a prenup is to define each party's rights to property and finances in the case of a divorce.
Prenups are often cast in a bad light–we've all seen a tv show or movie where a wealthy person pressures their soon-to-be spouse into signing such a document. In reality, however, a prenup is nothing to be afraid of; in fact, a well-drafted prenup can protect both partners of a relationship.
Another common misconception is that a prenup is only for the rich and famous. While these agreements are often used by wealthy individuals to protect assets in the event of a divorce, a prenup can benefit anyone in the event of a divorce, regardless of financial status.
What Does a Prenup Cover in Rhode Island?
When a married couple gets a divorce, the division of property is often left in the hands of a family court judge. This can lead to a high level of uncertainty when it comes to the division of assets. A prenuptial agreement eliminates the guesswork by preemptively setting out the parties' rights to assets.
Rhode Island's Uniform Premarital Agreement Act states that parties can contract as to:
- How real estate is divided in the event of a divorce;
- The rights of parties in property that was owned individually or jointly;
- How to divide property in the event of divorce, death, or separation of the parties;
- Modification–or complete elimination–of alimony in the event of a divorce; and
- Rights of a party to death benefits from life insurance policies.
Although these are the most common topics covered in a prenuptial agreement, the document can cover much more. A seasoned family law attorney can help you decide if a prenup is right for you.
Thinking About a Prenup? We Can Help You in Rhode Island
If you are a Rhode Islander who is planning to get married to your other half, it's important to consider a prenuptial agreement as part of that plan. While knowing the basics of a prenup is a good step, the best way to determine whether a prenup is right for you is to speak with a seasoned family law attorney who has experience drafting these agreements.
To speak with a member of the Inman & Tourgee legal team about a prenuptial agreement, fill out an online contact form or call (401) 823-9200 today.