Do You Need A Marriage Contract? (Plus, 3 Things To Avoid!)

Written by Carpenter Family Law On August 11, 2017

When entering into a marriage with someone, while a happy and joyous time, it is important to also consider the legal aspects should something go wrong.

Marriage contracts lay out the financial plan for your marriage in legal terms AND help involve and promote honest communication about your relationship together.

What Does A Marriage Contract Include?

Marriage contracts, or prenuptial agreements, deal with a number of marital issues:

Is A Marriage Contract Right For Me?

Considering a Marriage Contract, but aren’t sure what it entails? Here are some of the things a Marriage Contract allows you to do:

  • Keep finances separate: If a couple divorces or when one spouse dies, the assets will be divided by a court.
  • Protect each other from debt: Each spouse brings something different to the table, and oftentimes that includes debts. If you do not want to be responsible for your spouse’s debts, a marriage contract can help limit your liability for each other’s debt.
  • Keep property in the family: If your property includes something you want to keep in your family, a marriage contract will help you and your spouse can agree that it will remain in your family.
  • Set certain responsibilities for your marriage: Depending on your unique circumstances, there are countless other uses for a marriage contract. Some of these include: Who/how household bills will be paid, whether to have joint bank accounts, agreements on purchases and setting money aside for savings, and how to settle future disagreements – to name a few.

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4 Mistakes to Avoid With A Marriage Contract

Marriage Contracts, or Prenuptial Agreements, can be tricky to navigate and hard for some to understand.

If you are considering a Marriage Contract for your relationship, here are 3 things to avoid:

1. You push the topic aside because it takes the romance out of your engagement/marriage

A marriage is an exciting time, and while you may want to focus all your attention on the fun and memorable aspects of it (honeymoon, wedding plans, guests, etc.), it is vital that you and your spouse/future spouse have a conversation about a Marriage Contract.

Along the same lines, it is important to be transparent and honest about your finances. Taking the time to discuss how you want to handle finances during your marriage is an important step toward being a married couple, and will protect you later in life.

2. You let emotions get in the way

Legal issues and finances are sensitive topics for all couples at some point, but it is key to not allow your emotions to get in the way of your negotiations.

If you get upset while discussing your marriage, finances, etc., consider seeing a family lawyer, who can help you better understand and come to a conclusion with your Marriage Contract.

3. You try to reach an agreement quickly to end the conversation

If you find yourself avoiding the topics or trying to end the discussion just as quickly as it started, it may be best to take some time to think thoroughly about whether you really want to sign a Marriage Contract.

It all comes down to your personal comfort, and if you are not comfortable signing a Marriage Contract for whatever reason, don’t – your partner will understand.

You shouldn’t agree simply to end an uncomfortable conversation, because that will likely lead to more problems later.

Have More Questions About Marriage Contracts?

If you still have questions about Marriage Contracts and if it would be right for you and your situation, call our law firm. Geoffrey J. Carpenter  will be happy to give you a free 30 minute consultation.

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