In the past, people often presumed prenuptial agreements to be romance-killing legal loopholes for rich people wanting to avoid marriage scams.
However, in today’s social climate, people are waiting longer to get married, but nearly half of all marriages still end in divorce. More middle-class Americans who have built businesses and acquired property on their own are looking to protect their assets just in case.
1. Define marital property
A prenuptial agreement determines how spouses will divide assets upon divorce. Without an agreement in place, a Maryland family court judge can divide property in a way he or she finds equitable and fair. With a binding prenup, you can designate separate belongings such as:
- Business stakes
- Family heirlooms
- Separate property
2. Protect yourself from debt
Divorcing couples must determine how to divide debt as well as assets. If one spouse brought extensive credit card balances or loans into the marriage, establishing a prenup can protect the other party from taking on those liabilities when the relationship ends.
3. Save money and time
The Maryland divorce process can be lengthy and expensive for both parties. Even if ex-spouses can agree on a settlement, legal fees and court costs can eat away assets rather quickly. Having a well-drafted prenup in place addresses common issues and leads to a quicker resolution so both parties can move on as painlessly as possible.
You should not dismiss a prenuptial agreement in hopes of everlasting love, and you should not sign one haphazardly for similar reasons. It is important to understand your rights and protect yourself under Maryland family law.