Marital Estate Planning: Prenuptial Agreements
Getting married is a life-changing moment for almost everyone. Soon-to-be spouses spend months meticulously planning how they will share their life, celebrating their honeymoon, buying a house, or just thinking about the future—they sometimes overlook extremely important matters such as how to protect their assets.
People about to get married rarely think about establishing a prenuptial agreement, even if it can have major benefits for their future marriage and personal security.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
In Rhode Island, a prenuptial agreement is a legal document that is signed by a couple before their marriage to define each party’s rights to property and finances in the case of separation.
Getting a prenuptial agreement means you are worried that your relationship may end. It only demonstrates that you are a financially responsible adult who understands that unexpected and unfortunate things can happen, and you do not want to be unprepared.
Rhode Island’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act states that using a prenuptial agreement, soon-to-be spouses can agree on the following:
- How real estate is divided in case of separation
- The rights of parties concerning assets that were originally owned individually or jointly
- How to divide patrimony in case of divorce, death, or separation
- Agreements regarding alimony and spousal support in case of separation
- Rights of a party to death benefits from life insurance policies
It is important to note that this list does not limit the right of the parties to include terms covering any matter that is not illegal. However, not all premarital agreements will be enforceable. For example, even if a prenuptial agreement regulates child support issues, judicial authorities are not bound to the terms of the prenuptial agreement and can rule based on what they deem convenient.
Other Items Needed in the Agreement
A well-drafted prenuptial agreement must cover the vast majority of rights and duties concerning a marital relationship, such as the rights to buy, sell, or otherwise use real estate, the division of property upon possible divorce or death, the formalization of a will or trust, and others.
If the spouses’ circumstances change during their marriage, it is possible to modify a prenuptial agreement by discussing and according to any desired modifications and furtherly amend the original terms of the prenuptial agreement.
Entering a marriage can turn your world upside down, so before you decide to sign a prenuptial agreement, you should unquestionably seek assistance from a family attorney to ensure that you are being properly advised.
We Can Help with Your Prenuptial Agreement
The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD have years of experience in drafting, negotiating, and formalizing prenuptial agreements and will do everything we can to help you make the right decisions for your best legal outcome.
The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD provides highly-experienced legal solutions in Newport, Lincoln, Middletown, Portsmouth, Warwick, Greenwich, Kingstown, Tiverton, and the surrounding Rhode Island communities.
55 Memorial Blvd. Suite 5
Newport, RI 02840
Phone: (401) 841-5700