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Prenuptial Agreements in RI | Rhode Island Family Lawyer

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Before you tie the knot with your spouse, it may be wise to have a conversation regarding what would happen in the event that your marriage should end in divorce. While nobody wants to think about this subject, the truth is that divorce is a very real possibility and can cause major issues further down the line if the terms of your separation have not already been established. By creating a prenuptial agreement or “prenup,” you and your spouse can prepare for a worst-case scenario and eliminate potential conflict before it even begins.

At TJC • ESQ, our Rhode Island family lawyers help spouses put together strong, clearly-worded premarital agreements that prepare for all aspects of their future before their upcoming union. Having been assisting couples for more than 30 years, we can provide the knowledgeable legal guidance you need to prepare for a wide range of unforeseen circumstances.

Take the first step towards creating a prenuptial agreement by scheduling a free consultation today.

What Issues Can a Prenup Decide?

While prenuptial agreements were once a tool primarily used to protect the assets of wealthy spouses in the event of a high net worth divorce, prenups are now used for a variety of reasons and can be beneficial for all couples. Prenuptial agreements are not a ploy to lure otherwise happy couples in to divorce court, but rather as a tool to set in place a stable future and eliminate the possibility of trouble later on down the line. Think of a prenup like a fire extinguisher: you hope to never need to use it, but if you do, you will be glad you have it.

A prenuptial agreement can establish solutions for numerous issues, including:

  • Separating marital and separate property
  • Protecting inheritances for children born from a previous marriage
  • The distribution of assets in the event of a spouse’s death
  • Guarding business assets and interests
  • Protecting one spouse from the other’s debts
  • Each spouse’s entitlement to alimony
  • Each spouse’s right to buy, use, control, transfer, exchange, or dispose of property

It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are not catch-all methods of preparing for divorce, as there are certain issues that cannot be predetermined. Child custody and child support may not be predetermined by a prenuptial agreement, as child support belongs to the child and child custody arrangements must be created with the best interests of the child in mind. While prenuptial agreements can help with these negotiations, they may be overruled by a judge.

How Will I Know My Prenup is Enforceable?

In order to be binding, a prenuptial agreement must be established in writing, signed by both spouses, and notarized. In addition, the marriage must actually take place in order for the prenup to take effect. If you break off your engagement, it will be as if the prenup never existed.

Prenuptial agreements will be upheld in court unless both of the following requirements are met:

1. A spouse does not enter into the agreement voluntarily, and

2. The agreement contains terms that are severely unfair to one party

A spouse may not be defrauded in their premarital agreement, nor can be forced to enter into an agreement against their will. However, unfair prenuptial agreements may still be upheld in court if a spouse willingly and knowingly agrees to the arrangement.

Get TJC • ESQ on Your Side

At TJC • ESQ, our Rhode Island family law attorneys want nothing more than to see your marriage blossom into a long-lasting relationship that lasts the rest of your life. With the added security of a prenuptial arrangement, we can help you eliminate your worries and allow you to enjoy your marriage with less stress. To review your legal options and find out more about how a prenup can help you, we invite you to contact our office today!

TJC • ESQ is now a part of Burns & Levinson, one of the largest and most respected family law firms in the nation. Learn more.

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