In Tennessee, our Courts will enforce Pre-Nuptial Agreements, but only if they meet certain legalcriteria.
As a divorce attorney, I see many, many battles fought over bank accounts, retirement accounts and real estate people owned prior to marriage. Often, without thinking during the marriage your spouse’s name is put on your bank account or your home.
And when you divorce, it may be too late to undo and you just made separate property – marital.
A well-drafted Pre-Nuptial saves you thousands upon thousands of dollars in the end.
A good agreement sets out exactly what property remains separate from the very beginning. It also can set out whether or not you or your spouse will have to pay alimony.
We get several calls about this issue and my advice is to always have a Pre-Nuptial prepared. Given how costly divorce can be and the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is only smart to consider preparing this agreement. Especially if this is a second marriage and you both have children from prior marriages.
If you decide to have us prepare a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, the law requires that you both make a full disclosure of your assets. If you fail to do so, the Pre-Nuptial can be considered void. Now is not the time to hide anything.
The law also requires that both of you be represented by an attorney in the process.
Our firm often prepares the Pre-Nuptial Agreement for one of the parties to insure all the legal requirements have been met. We then can arrange for your spouse to have the agreement reviewed by a separate attorney. This insures it will hold up in Court.
While the last thing you may want to think about when you are preparing for marriage is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, believe me, when you are sitting next to us in Court and the Judge gives away ½ of your retirement, you are going to wish you had considered this simple agreement.
It’s worth every penny and then some.