We most often hear about prenuptial agreements in the context of highly publicized celebrity divorces. These cases cause the impression that prenuptial agreements are necessary only for the rich and famous. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Prenuptial agreements are important for all couples, but even more so for older couples, who are more likely to own property and have children from previous relationships. Whether you have seen other marriages fail or your parents wish you to safeguard your inheritance, a prenuptial agreement is the best way to go when you want to specify ownership of existing property and debts, or even property or debt that you intend to accrue in the future.
The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to decide how you will divide your property in the event of divorce. This agreement does not detail ownership of every single item of property owned by either spouse; it simply allows each spouse to declare certain items of property as “separate” property that will not be subject to division between the parties in the divorce. As a result, each spouse can protect his or her separate property that he or she is bringing to the marriage. This may be for the benefit of their children, or simply as a source of financial support should the marriage fail.
A prenuptial agreement can also deal with debts. This may be particularly important where one spouse is coming to the marriage with a large amount of debt, such as student loans from graduate or professional school. The parties can agree that the spouse that incurred the debt prior to the marriage will be responsible for the debt if the couple divorces in the future.
The skilled and knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Pacific Northwest Family Law know how to handle all aspects of Washington divorce cases, whether they involve prenuptial agreements or not. We are here to help and give you the advice that you need. Contact our office by e-mailing us at [email protected] or call us at 1-509-792-3044 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce lawyers today.