Before you wed, you may want to talk to your future spouse about a prenuptial agreement. While this legal contract has a bad rep, it serves as a helpful tool.
A prenup acts as a contract that should you and your spouse split up, the decisions you made in love stand. Since divorce may become contentious, having a prenup makes the transition smoother. It helps to get an idea about what a prenup can and cannot do.
How will you divide property?
A prenup can memorialize your decision on how to divide money, property and debt. It is the place for you to define any substantial pre-marital or separate property. For instance, if you own a rental home, you may want a provision in the prenup that it remains yours. During a divorce, a judge may have to decide the most equitable or fair way to divide your marital property. To avoid this, spell out your agreement in a prenup.
Is alimony on the table?
In a prenup, you decide if alimony is an option. Spousal support is something that may apply depending on the length of the marriage and the inequity in finances. In a prenup, you may set terms for alimony payments. You may also agree not to ask the court for it.
What about future children?
Under Minnesota law, you cannot set terms of child support for future children. Since the state considers that money for the children and not either spouse, a prenup cannot address it. You may not address any child-related issues in a prenup.
Having an agreement on how you want to handle things should your marriage end in divorce does not doom you to failure. It actually helps put you on a better path and lightens the load during a stressful divorce process.