With all of the happiness and excitement leading up to a marriage, the idea of a prenup can be an incredibly delicate and emotional topic. Still, a prenuptial agreement, known as an antenuptial agreement under Ohio law, is a practical and responsible move that is only intended to provide a fair and amicable resolution in the event your marriage does not last.
Planning for the unexpected is always a sensible move. Thus, asking your soon-to-be spouse to consider establishing a fair, mutually agreed upon plan before your marriage is highly encouraged. The team of experienced prenuptial agreement attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP recognizes that creating a prenup can be an emotional experience for a couple who is about to get married and vow to a life-long partnership. However, we also recognize that when most married couples divorce, they are too hurt and angry to rationally negotiate a fair and equitable resolution.
If you are planning on getting married and have questions about prenuptial agreements, we welcome you to consult with one of our Ohio prenuptial agreement lawyers. Additionally, if you are already married and wish to put a postnuptial agreement in place, we can help. During your complimentary consultation, we will answer your questions, detail what can and cannot be included in either agreement and walk you through every step of the process, giving you peace of mind as you embark on your journey.
Call 888.534.4850 or contact us online to arrange a FREE consultation with an Ohio prenuptial attorney.
Ohio Prenuptial Agreements
By signing a prenuptial agreement, neither party is signing away their hopes and desires of a happy marriage. It simply allows for a straightforward resolution in the case of a divorce. So what exactly is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, referred to as an “antenuptial agreement” in the state of Ohio, is a contract between two people who are getting married that covers a wide range of issues commonly centered around property rights, assets, and debts. They establish the property and financial rights of each party and typically cover:
- The protection of each party’s assets and debts before marriage
- Division and distribution of assets obtained and debts incurred during the marriage
- The protection of children from a previous marriage.
- Identify marital financial responsibilities
- Protect family property (inheritance)
- Division and distribution of property obtained after marriage
- The debt responsibility after marriage
- The amount and duration of spousal support
- Protect elderly parents in your care
- The distribution of assets after a spouse’s death
Prenups can also address the following:
- Life insurance
- Retirement benefits
- Business interests
- Estate planning
The Validity of a Prenuptial Agreement
To ensure you establish a valid agreement that will be enforceable by the courts should you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, your prenup should:
- Be written, signed, and notarized before marriage
- Contain full and accurate disclosure of assets, liabilities, and income from both you and your future spouse.
- Be entered into voluntarily, without threats, coercion, fraud, or duress
- Fair for both you and your partner
- Not encourage divorce
- Not encourage you or your soon-to-be spouse to commit illegal acts
In some cases, only portions of a prenuptial agreement are considered invalid and are not enforced by the courts. Any part of a prenup that includes either behavioral requirements (how a spouse must behave) or stipulations on child custody, child support, and visitation rights will likely be deemed invalid and will be unenforced by the courts.
To ensure your prenuptial agreement’s fairness and validity, it is highly recommended that you and your partner hire your own family law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will provide expert legal guidance and knowledgeable input during the entire process. They will also carefully review any potential agreement to ensure it aligns with your current and future goals and protects your best interests.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Prenups
Although prenuptial agreements can be immensely beneficial in the event of a divorce or dissolution, they may not work for all couples. You or your future spouse may have reservations about a prenup and are uncomfortable with the idea. When there is hesitation, it is important to have an in-depth discussion with your partner and an experienced family law attorney to determine if a prenuptial agreement is the best option for you and your soon-to-be spouse’s specific situation. Below, we have listed some advantages and disadvantages of prenups.
Some advantages of establishing a prenuptial agreement include:
- Sensitive financial matters are addressed.
- Premarital personal and business assets are protected.
- Conflict over assets and finances during divorce can be avoided.
- Financial expectations are addressed prior to marriage.
- Family ties and inheritance are preserved.
A few disadvantages to a prenuptial agreement include:
- It may cause tension between you and your future spouse.
- The proposal of a prenup may make the other partner feel like there is a lack of commitment.
- They can imply or create a lack of trust.
- It may cause uncertainty between you and your partner.
- A person may feel their partner ultimately thinks their marriage won’t last and is planning for a divorce.
If you or your future spouse are unsure if a prenuptial is right for you, we encourage you to contact our firm to speak to one of our experienced and attentive prenuptial agreement attorneys. We understand that when a couple is deciding whether or not to pursue a prenuptial agreement, it is often an emotional and trying time. Our compassionate lawyers will listen to your situation and offer our thoughtful insight and our skilled guidance to help you determine the path that is best for you and your future spouse.
Prenuptial agreements, referred to as “antenuptial agreements” in Ohio, are valid when they meet the following requirements:
- The terms of the agreement must not encourage divorce.
- Both parties must enter into the agreement without coercion, duress, or fraud.
- Each spouse must fully disclose the true nature and value of his or her property.
To ensure the validity of the agreement, it is also recommended to present it to the other party well before the marriage date, giving them time to carefully review it with their own lawyer.
When deciding the terms of your prenuptial agreement, keep in mind that the agreement or portions of the agreement can be unenforceable and rendered invalid if it includes matters such as:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Household duties
- Details of the child’s upbringing
- Spousal support while the divorce is pending
- The religious practices of the child
- Where to spend the holidays
Ohio Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
If you are engaged to be married and would like to learn more about prenuptial agreements, let our Ohio prenup attorneys help. With our wealth of knowledge and our unwavering focus on our clients’ best interests, we can help you find a resolution that aligns with your long-term goals. Our firm will competently and thoroughly address any complex financial issues, such as stock portfolios, business and corporate interests, and pensions and retirement plans. We also provide our clients who wish to establish a postnuptial or postmarital agreement with invaluable advice, support, and legal guidance.
To learn more about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, please feel free to contact our highly-regarded law firm. We have offices in Akron, Canton, and Cleveland to skillfully address the legal needs of our clients throughout Ohio. Call 888.534.4850 or fill out our online form to arrange your FREE, confidential consultation.