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Prenup Attorney in Rock Hill, SC

Helping Clients Protect Their Financial Interests for the Future

When you’re getting married, your hopes are centered on a bright future together. Your plans may include starting a family, traveling the world, or growing a business together. While planning for the future and having dreams is exciting, it’s important to realize that everything doesn’t always work out as planned. Having a backup in place can make it easier to recover if something happens. A prenuptial agreement is a tool that ensures you understand exactly what you are entitled to in the event of a divorce and helps you protect your personal property from being subject to South Carolina’s property division laws.

Making the choice to end a relationship is never easy, but when there are joint finances involved, it’s even harder. A prenuptial agreement can protect your financial interests and ensure you have what you need to establish yourself independently if the marriage doesn’t work out. Call The Howze Law Firm, LLC, to speak to an experienced family law attorney who can draw up a prenuptial agreement or help you get one enforced.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also sometimes referred to as a premarital agreement, is a legal document that outlines how assets and debts will be divided in the event a couple divorces and whether any alimony or spousal support is to be paid. Both parties create and negotiate the terms of a prenuptial agreement, and it is signed before the marriage takes place. While some states have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, South Carolina hasn’t done so yet, which means that prenuptial agreements are largely individual to the couple and aren’t strictly regulated by state law.

Who Needs Prenuptial Agreements?

Every couple can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. It provides security in knowing exactly what you would leave the marriage with in the event of a divorce, and it can speed up divorce proceedings dramatically. But prenups are especially beneficial for those who have significant assets, interests in a family business, or children from a previous marriage. If you are bringing high-value assets into the marriage, you may want to designate all or part of them as separate property to ensure that they won’t be considered community property in a divorce. If you want to ensure that children from a previous marriage inherit certain assets, a prenuptial agreement can name those as separate property.

If you’re wondering if you need a prenuptial agreement, the answer is probably yes. A family law attorney can review your financial responsibilities and determine how a prenuptial agreement can provide you with security and create one that fits your goals and needs.

What Can Be Included in a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements can only include terms related to financial matters. This includes whether property will be categorized as separate or marital property, as well as the division of assets and debts. Prenups can also outline under what circumstances one party will pay alimony to the other and how much and for how long. However, prenups cannot include any terms related to child custody or child support. These matters must be decided by the courts based on the best interests of the child and the current child support worksheets at the time of the divorce.

Some people attempt to add terms to the prenuptial agreement that have to do with spousal behavior. For example, someone might try to put in a prenup that one spouse must make coffee every morning. However, these can’t actually be enforced as part of a prenuptial agreement, and including them could cause a judge to render the entire agreement as superfluous and, therefore, void. This is just one reason why it’s important to draw up a prenuptial agreement with the help of a qualified attorney.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Changed After the Marriage?

Premarital agreements are drawn up and signed before a marriage, but it’s common for the parties’ financial situations to change over the years. The good news is that you can change a prenuptial agreement after the marriage as long as both parties agree and sign the new document. Both spouses must also agree to the change freely. If there is any evidence of fraud or coercion, the judge could throw the prenup out in the event of a divorce.

When Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Challenged?

While a valid prenuptial agreement can make the property division process much easier in a divorce, there are circumstances where a judge may overturn the agreement. Generally, this happens in situations where there was some type of fraud or misrepresentation or the prenup was signed under duress. It’s also possible for a prenup to be declared invalid if there was a mistake with the paperwork, such as a signature being forgotten. If you are getting a divorce and you or your ex want the prenuptial agreement overturned, you will need to provide evidence that one of the above situations is applicable. For example, if all assets weren’t disclosed at the time the prenup was signed, this could be considered a misrepresentation.

While it may not be pleasant to think about a potential end to your marriage before it has even begun, a prenuptial agreement is like a life jacket on a boat. You hope you never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad it’s there. The team at The Howze Law Firm, LLC, is here to help you understand how a prenuptial agreement can benefit you and represent your interests as the document is drafted and negotiated. Call 803-324-9009 to schedule your appointment with a prenuptial agreement attorney today.