What are important elements of a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are legally binding contracts, which is why couples should include key elements about debt, finance, estate plans and divorce.

Not all Tennessee couples choose to make a prenup before getting married. However, this type of legal agreement can be quite beneficial for those about to making the plunge into married life. People often think this type of contract helps protect a wealthy person when he or she chooses to marry someone with less money, but it can do more than that. It can give couples a platform of strong communication to talk about topics that are important for a healthy marriage.

Division of debt

Some couples may think they do not need to create a prenuptial agreement because neither one of them has any money. However, most people today have at least some form of debt. The soon-to-be husband and wife can clearly divide their debt, which can protect the other spouse from being saddled with debt that is not his or hers. If this division legally made before the marriage, it might protect the assets of the other spouse should there be a fault in a loan.

Outline of divorce proceedings

A prenup should include a brief outline of what would happen should a divorce take place in the future. This outline might include a plan for alimony and property division. If the groom knows he might inherit family land, for example, he may choose to include a passage that ensures the land will stay with him should the couple divorce.

Arrangement for marital finances

This legal agreement can also help dictate what will happen to the finances during a marriage. Some couples make a decision about whose income will pay for what. The groom's income may be earmarked for the mortgage, while the bride's may be used to pay for entertainment.

Even if this type of division is not being made, a soon-to-be husband and wife can still make a game plan for their finances. For example, couples can outline their desired spending and saving strategies. Having a plan prepared for finances can help ensure both parties stick to spending restrictions, so they will be prepared for retirement as a couple.

Layout of estate plans

While a prenup cannot replace a will, it can help ensure that the wishes of a person are carried out even if his or her spouse wants something else. For example, if a clause enforcing a will is included in the prenup, it makes it much harder for the surviving person to alter the plans. People who have children from a previous relationship often use this type of clause to protect the wellbeing of their kids.

Making a prenuptial agreement in Tennessee can help couples lay the groundwork for their future finances. A lawyer may be able to help make sure that a prenup is well rounded and legally binding.