There are few things more exciting than the months leading up to your wedding. They can be filled with insurmountable joy but also stress and uncertainty. As your big day approaches, you may consider how to protect your assets and your financial future. A prenuptial agreement can help ensure that your interests are protected in the event of death or divorce. While it can be a difficult initial conversation, it can provide comfort and security down the road.
At Slater & Zurz, we provide personalized representation for individuals seeking to make a prenuptial agreement. Our lawyers work diligently to ensure that your best interests are represented and that a fair, amicable solution can be reached. If you are interested in filing a prenuptial agreement in Canton, contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a free consultation.
Prenuptial Agreements and Ohio Law
A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by people in contemplation of marriage. In Ohio, prenuptial agreements are referred to as antenuptial agreements. Antenuptial (prenuptial) agreements address issues of support and property disposition in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.
To be valid, there are a number of legal requirements that a prenuptial agreement must meet. It is critically important that you consult with and retain a Canton prenuptial agreement lawyer if you are interested in filing this legal document. An antenuptial agreement that fails to meet Ohio legal requirements will not be considered valid.
Canton Prenup Requirements
Ohio case precedent indicates that a prenuptial agreement must meet three essential elements to be enforceable.
Canton antenuptial agreements must:
- Have been entered into freely without fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching;
- With full disclosure, or full understanding and knowledge of the “nature, value, and extent” of a spouse’s property; and
- Not promote or encourage divorce.
Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement cannot contain unconscionable terms, such as how much spousal support or alimony a spouse will receive. The best way to ensure that your prenuptial agreement will meet Ohio legal standards is by having it written and filed by an attorney. A
Canton prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you understand the law, write a valid contract, and ensure that all documents are properly filed.
Other Prenuptial Agreement Considerations
In addition to the three essential elements described above, to be enforceable, a prenuptial agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties.
It should also be contemplated well in advance of the wedding. Presenting a prospective spouse with a prenuptial agreement the day before the ceremony may be considered bad faith. It is in both parties best interest to retain legal counsel and discuss the terms in the months leading up to the marriage.
The terms of the prenuptial agreement should also be reasonable and specific. Ambiguous, unclear language may be considered invalid. A Canton prenuptial agreement lawyer can assist you in ensuring that the terms are written in strong, unmistakable language that is more likely to be upheld by the court.
Issues Covered in a Prenup
A prenuptial agreement is designed to cover issues that may arise if the marriage ends due to death or divorce. It will generally lay out how assets and liabilities will be divided, including properties and businesses owned by one or both spouses.
A prenuptial agreement may cover:
- Division of assets and debts
- Rights and obligations to properties and businesses
- Alimony or spousal support
- Death benefits from life insurance
While these topics may be challenging to bring up, having them laid out in a prenuptial agreement can be extremely beneficial in the event that the marriage comes to an end.
It is important to note that Ohio law prohibits changes to a prenuptial agreement after marriage. Therefore, it is crucial to have these discussions during your engagement and ensure that both parties sign a contract before the wedding date.
Things that Cannot Be Included in a Prenup
While many things can be covered in a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement, certain items are off-limits. A prenup cannot cover child support or child custody arrangements. A court reserves the right to determine both of those based on what is in the best interest of the child at the time the marriage is terminated.
If you are unsure about what should be included in your prenuptial agreement, you need to consult with an attorney. A Canton prenuptial agreement lawyer can go over all of the important terms that should be included in the contract and make sure that your rights are protected now and in the future.
Benefits of Signing a Prenuptial Agreement
While couples planning to get married do not want to talk about death and divorce, it can save them time and money long-term. A prenuptial agreement helps people prepare for the unthinkable. The conversation may not be an easy one, but it may prove critical if the unimaginable happens.
Benefits to signing a premarital agreement:
- Parties enter into a marriage with full disclosure about their prospective spouse’s assets and liabilities;
- A spouse’s personal property and assets can be protected;
- It can provide financial security for children from a previous relationship;
- Inheritances can be kept separate;
- It can help provide transparency and establish trust in a marriage;
- It can establish limitations on the amount and duration of spousal support (although it must still be reasonable; and
- It can help avoid conflict and address financial expectations.
A prenuptial agreement can and should be beneficial to both parties. Contrary to popular belief, these agreements are not solely for individuals with a high net worth or those that have significant amounts of property. Prenuptial agreements may be a good idea for anyone who wants to set their own parameters as to what should happen in the event of death or divorce.
Discussing a Prenuptial Agreement
Discussing a prenuptial agreement with your significant other may cause tension. By consulting with a Canton prenuptial agreement lawyer early, you can determine the best course of action. A prenuptial agreement is not planning for divorce; it is preparing for the future. Approaching it with the help of an attorney can make the process easier and less contentious.
To be enforceable, both parties must have a full understanding of the other person’s property. Disclosing your financial situation may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary. A lawyer can help you provide the relevant information to your prospective spouse. By allowing a third party to supply this data, you can remove some of the emotion from the disclosure.
If your spouse has suggested that you sign a prenuptial agreement, you should have an attorney review what you are signing. The terms of a premarital agreement can be negotiated before it is finalized. Having an attorney look over the agreement can help ensure that your interests are protected and that you have financial security if the marriage ends.
Individuals Who Should File a Prenup
As discussed above, it is not only high-net-worth individuals that should consider a prenuptial agreement. A prenup may be recommended for several reasons, including if the couple has children from a previous marriage or is a business owner.
Individuals who may want to consider filing a prenuptial agreement:
● People with large amounts of property or assets
● Business owners
● High-net-worth individuals
● People with kids from previous relationships
● People with large amounts of debts
● Individuals who inherited money or stand to inherit money
● Couples who want control over how property is distributed upon death or divorce
A prenuptial agreement should be customized to meet your individual needs and goals. It should address any of the financial concerns that you or your partner have and make sure that all assets and liabilities are distributed.
Why hire Slater & Zurz:
At Slater & Zurz, we provide compassionate, focused representation. Our Canton prenuptial agreement lawyers understand the sensitive nature of these discussions and will provide you with the guidance that you need to make the right decision for your family.
● We have decades of experience helping individuals resolve family law matters, including drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements.
● We have a proven track record of success.
● We offer free, no-obligation consultations.
● We are client-focused, taking the time to address our client’s needs and concerns.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you need experience on your side. We have over 100 years of collective experience. We know Ohio law and will fight to protect your rights and help you understand your responsibilities. Our knowledgeable legal team is here to help you achieve your goals so that you can enter your marriage with clarity and confidence.
Hiring a Canton Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
If you or your spouse is considering a prenuptial agreement, contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a free consultation. All family law matter consultations are confidential and without obligation to retain our firm.
Call our office today to speak with a skilled Canton family law attorney. Get the focused representation you need and deserve. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you with any of your legal concerns.