Many Arkansas spouses don’t understand exactly what a prenuptial agreement can do. In fact, there are six primary areas that spouses choose to cover in their prenuptial agreements. Here is a brief exploration of each:
Identifying what is marital property and what is separate property: Many spouses will enter marriage with a sizable amount of personal wealth. It’s easy for assets to “commingle” during marriage. In other words, remember “what belongs to whom” could become a muddled process. With a prenuptial agreement you can define and codify your premarital separate property with more clarity.
Protection from debt: Just like defining property and assets, you can also define whose debt is whose. That way, you won’t end up assuming the other spouse’s debt obligations as a result of marriage.
Saving the children’s inheritance: Due to state intestacy laws, the marriage partner tends to have strong inheritance rights. A prenuptial agreement can place limits on the spouse’s inheritance rights to preserve the inheritance for other beneficiaries like children.
A piece in your complete estate plan: The prenuptial agreement may serve as one of many documents required for a complete estate plan that also includes trusts, a will and, other documents and arrangements.
A plan for asset division: Your prenuptial agreement can establish a “divorce action plan” for property division in the event that you and your spouse need to part ways. This could make your divorce dramatically easier, faster and cheaper in the long run (if divorce is ever necessary).
Agreeing about spousal responsibilities: The spouses might also use a prenuptial agreement to make various commitments and assumed responsibilities clear. Although some of these commitments might not be legally actionable, it could be a great way to make them clear for both sides.
An arbitration clause: Spouses might also include an agreement that they will use arbitration or alternative dispute resolution methods first, before they ever decide to go to court about their differences or disagreements.
Prenuptial agreements are a powerful way for spouses to clarify their marital commitments. If you think you and your future spouse could benefit from such an agreement, learn more about your prenuptial agreement options now.