3rd May 2014

A Prenuptial Agreement is a contract that sets forth the property rights of the parties in the event of death or divorce.

It can address issues ranging from alimony to what happens to property acquired by each party during and after marriage.

Many people assume that they don’t need Prenuptial Agreements because they don’t feel that they own anything of real value. On the contrary a Prenuptial Agreement can do more than protect the assets you owned prior to marriage. It can protect assets acquired after marriage and at the time of death.
Your salary at the time of marriage may be close to the same that your fiancé earns, but may increase substantially during the course of the marriage. In the event of divorce, your spouse may be entitled to alimony unless you have protected yourself with a prenuptial agreement that contains a provision wherein he or she has waived alimony.
A Prenuptial Agreement is helpful for those who have children from a prior relationship who they wish to leave assets to at the time of death.

Maryland probate law allows a surviving spouse to “elect against the Will”. Your surviving spouse can claim up to one third of your probate assets regardless of any provision in your Will that leaves those assets to your children. Your children from a prior relationship do not have the same right. Only a prenuptial agreement can protect their interest in the assets you wish for them to inherit.

What if I am already married and want an agreement that protects my assets?

If you are estranged from your spouse and the two of you are attempting reconciliation, but living separately, you may want an agreement that resolves all financial issues between you in the event the effort at working out the marriage fails. A Marital Agreement can do just that. It also serves as an Estate Planning tool.


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