What is a Prenuptial Agreement, and Do I Need One?

Prenuptial agreements are something that many people have a strong opinion about, regardless of whether they fully understand them or not. Some people think that prenuptial agreements are only used by wealthy people, or celebrities whose marriages are highly likely to end in a divorce anyways. Other people believe that prenuptial agreements are unromantic, because they seem to acknowledge that the couple anticipates that their marriage may one day end in divorce. The truth about prenuptial agreements is that while they are not necessary for all couples, they can be a useful tool for some couples to use to protect the interests of both parties in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is a document which a couple negotiates and signs before they get married. It may contain provisions for any assets or responsibilities that the couple wishes to include. The agreement becomes valid upon the date of the marriage. If the couple later divorces their assets and other responsibilities will be apportioned according to the terms that they included in their prenuptial agreement.

If you are wondering what kinds of things couples use prenuptial agreements for, here are a few examples. If you own a business, a prenuptial agreement can be very useful because you can use it to protect your interest in the business that you have worked hard to create. Couples with children from a previous relationship often use prenuptial agreements to ensure that they will have the resources that they need to provide for their children after a divorce. If a family has owned a piece of real estate for several generations and it is important that the real estate continue to be owned by members of the family, a  prenuptial agreement can be used to enable the current owner to keep that property in the event of a divorce, instead of splitting it with their spouse. You could also use a prenuptial agreement to ensure that you will be able to keep an important piece of personal property, such as a family heirloom, if you divorce.

One of the most important things to know about prenuptial agreements is that they are legally binding documents. Prenuptial agreements involve full financial disclosure, so be prepared to exchange financial statements with your prospective spouse. It is important that you allow yourself and your prospective spouse plenty of time to negotiate and finalize a prenuptial agreement well in advance of your wedding. It is also essential that each of you works with your own Mississippi family law attorney to ensure that the agreement is fair, and that it is valid. A single attorney cannot legally represent the interests of two parties, as it would create a conflict of interest.

Your attorney can help you decide what kinds of provisions to include in your prenuptial agreement based upon what is important to you. They can also work with the attorney of your soon to be spouse, to negotiate an agreement which is fair to both of you. Mississippi courts will not enforce a prenuptial agreement which is so one-sided as to be unfair, or which was signed under duress, or pressure, from the other party.

Whether you have been presented with a premarital agreement and you are considering signing it, or you wish to create a premarital agreement which will protect your assets, you need the assistance of an experienced Mississippi family law attorney. Matthew S. Poole is a renowned family law attorney in Mississippi, with a reputation for exceptional legal service.  Call Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429, to schedule you free initial consultation.

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What is a Mississippi Prenuptial Agreement, and Do I Need One?
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What is a Mississippi Prenuptial Agreement, and Do I Need One?
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Jackson divorce lawyer Matthew S. Poole answers the question, what is a Mississippi prenuptial agreement, and do I need one?
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