When people are contemplating spending the rest of their lives together, they often have several important decisions to make. For many in Missouri, this includes considering whether a prenuptial agreement is necessary. While in the past, prenups have been primarily used by older couples who are entering a subsequent marriage, some family law professionals claim that younger people and those marrying for the first time are now utilizing this option. In fact, one attorney claims to have experienced a “tremendous upswing” of couples seeking a prenup over the last two decades.
There are several issues that a prenuptial agreement can — and cannot tackle. For example, some want such an agreement to protect an already existing business, especially when division could threaten the business. Others may want it to ensure that an anticipated inheritance goes only to the intended recipient. However, terms must be fair to both parties or it could impact the agreement’s future enforceability; if one person is asked to waive interest in a business, for example, there should be a compensatory asset in exchange.
Issues such as child support for children who are yet to be born can not be settled in a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, there are other issues that some attorneys recommend excluding. For example, certain lifestyle provisions — such as including dictating that a spouse pays more in the event of fidelity or detailing who will be responsible for chores — may not be the best use of a prenup.
Some couples in Missouri with few assets may ultimately determine that they do not need a prenuptial agreement. However, if circumstances change — even for those with a prenup in place — it may become prudent to create one after the marriage, known as a postnup, or amend an existing agreement. To ensure that a person being treated fairly in such an agreement having an experienced professional representing his or her interests in the drafting of the document is crucial; in fact, doing so can decrease the document’s susceptibility to a successful challenge.