Prenuptial or antenuptial agreements are quite common in marriages and are, at their core, a negotiated document signed by both members of a couple prior to marriage. These documents typically lay out ownership of property, monies, and assets. In Tennessee, these agreements are binding in court. Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-501, the law stipulates that these agreements should be entered into freely, knowledgeably, and in good faith.
This law stems from the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act of 1983, but the enforcement and specific language will vary from state to state. If you’re planning on getting married and would like to draft a prenuptial agreement, discuss the terms with your partner, and soon after call a Franklin family law attorney. A professional and experienced lawyer will be able to help you draft and complete a prenuptial agreement.
Elements of a prenuptial agreement
Prior to your wedding, if you and your partner are planning to draft a prenuptial agreement, you will want to work with your Franklin family law attorney to ensure its validity and scope. When you’re deciding if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you will want to consider what about your personal property, finances, or children from a past partner warrants specific protection. Certain elements can be included in a prenuptial agreement. These include:
- A clear delineation of property prior to the marriage, and an understanding of what community property will look like should the marriage dissolve.
- A protection of one or both spouses from another’s debts. Creditors cannot supersede a prenuptial agreement.
- Making sure property that might be willed to one partner is kept within that partner’s family of origin.
- A detailed list or understanding about what each person will be responsible for in the marriage (such as savings contributions).
- An arrangement about property rights should you get divorced.
- Protections for children from previous partners, as well as estate planning protections for them and you.
Why a prenuptial agreement is a smart idea
The state of Tennessee has laws about what happens to your property when you get a divorce. While you’re likely not even considering the possibility of divorce leading up to your marriage, it is key to protect yourself in case the unthinkable happens. Prenuptial agreements can put protections for both parties in place prior to the marriage. Specifically, if you have children from a previous marriage, property or debt you’re bringing into the marriage, or a family heirloom, property, or business you’ll be responsible for keeping within the family upon inheritance, a prenuptial agreement should be discussed with your Franklin family law attorney.
No one wants to consider divorce when they’re applying for their marriage license, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Tennessee divorces involving children must proceed through divorce mediation prior to trial, and if you have signed a prenuptial agreement, this process can be inexpensive and painless.
There are many considerations leading up to your marriage, and if you’re in or around Franklin, Brentwood, or Columbia, contact The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates to discuss your prenuptial family law needs. Our attorneys are well versed in standard and complex agreements, and are focused on a thorough depiction of the legal parameters and protections you and your partner want for your marriage. If you’re in Middle Tennessee, call us at 615-977-9370 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.