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Basic Facts About Prenuptial Agreements

March 20, 2019

Happily ever after is no longer the typical wedding ending. With the divorce rate peaking at 55 percent in recent years, couples may want to consider planning their uncoupling before planning their wedding.

While some see a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement as a prediction of doom, others view it as a chance to lessen the blow of a possible future breakup. For people who consider suggesting a prenup prior to their wedding, knowing some basics about how it works may make the discussion go smoothly.

Neither Party Can Feel Forced

The first prong under Ohio law is the way the prenup came about. Did the parties agree to it? Was one coerced into signing it? If one spouse feels pressure to sign a prenup, the court may wind up throwing it out.

The Agreement Has to Follow Ohio Law

Did the couple sign their prenup in another state? If so, there is a chance it will not hold up in court in Ohio if challenged. While certain elements exist that follow the norm for contract law, Ohio does not abide by the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act.

Neither Party Should Benefit More than The Other

Prenuptial agreements exist to allow future spouses to make decisions about dividing marital assets if a separation and divorce occur. When drafted, neither spouse may have much to divide, but the prenup contemplates what may happen in the years of marriage. If one spouse seems to come away with an inequitable share, then the court may find it void.

A Prenup Does Not Determine Matters Regarding Future Children

While the prenup divides property, assets and debt, it does not deal with children. If a couple divorces and has children, they will still need to go through the process of determining matters such as child custody, visitation and a parenting plan.

The premise of a prenuptial agreement is to make matters simpler in a time of great stress. If the parties agree that they want to make these difficult decisions before the wedding, it may save some of the turmoil divorce may cause.