Pre & Post Marital Agreements
Learn More From an Experienced Prenuptial Attorney in St. Louis
It is almost always much easier to take preventative legal measures than to resort to remedial ones. For this reason, working with a St. Louis marital agreement lawyer is a smart decision that often saves time, money, and heartache. We focus exclusively on family law matters and have extensive experience drafting marital agreements.
For many couples, prenuptial agreements are an excellent way to protect their interests before entering into a marriage. While they may not be the most romantic or exciting part of wedding planning, they create a forum for couples to talk about their concerns.
Prenuptial agreements are a smart idea for situations that include:
- Substantial assets, as the process of drafting an agreement encourages couples to discuss issues and concerns about how their financial and legal status will be changed should the couple divorce in the future
- Older couples where partners are entering into a second marriage, including children from a previous marriage who should inherit property according to their parent's wishes
Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements
Postnuptial or post-marital agreements serve the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, except that spouses create the agreement after they marry. Strict legal requirements must be followed, including the duty to disclose property held by both spouses.
Additional benefits of a prenup include:
- Protecting assets that you acquired before the marriage
- Protecting your children’s financial future and stability
- Coordinating how debts will be distributed if divorce were to occur
- Divorce settlements become easier since expectations from both spouses are clear
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Valid?
To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, you must follow certain case laws and Missouri statutes. There are two primary requirements that must be followed:
- The agreement must be entered into by both parties freely, fairly, willingly, and in good faith.
- The agreement must be “conscionable”, or in other words, fair
Regarding the first requirement, the following conditions must exist:
- You and your future spouse must have access to their own attorney
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties
- There must be enough time to present the agreement, nothing right before the wedding would be valid
- All assets must be disclosed by each party
- Both parties must be equally informed of their legal rights
- Both parties must be in relatively equal bargaining positions
Encourage Communication with Prenuptial Agreements
Communication is the foundation of the attorney/client relationship, and it is also the foundation of a happy and successful marriage. One of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement is that the preparation process encourages couples to communicate about long-term goals.
Ideally, communicate about their finances, their long-term and short-term plans, and their desires for the future. Preparing a prenuptial agreement allows you to share your hopes and dreams with one another, and to determine exactly where the two of you are going in your future.
Prenuptial Agreements Are Not Just for Divorce
Many prenuptial agreements cover the handling of an estate in the event of a death. For example, if you have some money that you want to go to your children when you die, you may specify that in your will. However, you can also include these provisions in your prenuptial agreement. These agreements are not just for divorce; they are an essential part of smart estate planning.
If you are in St. Louis, contact our St. Louis marital agreement attorneys online or call our office at 314.441.7793 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers. Our legal team assists clients in Chesterfield, St. Charles, and surrounding areas.
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