Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Friday, August 1, 2014.
When most people in Maryland prepare to get married, they have a million important things on their mind. Where will the couple live? Who will be responsible for the family’s income? All of these decisions require a lot of careful thought, and with so many important issues to take care of, it’s not surprising that a lot of couples don’t want to think about the “what if.” Specifically, they don’t want to ask, “What if things don’t work out and we decide to divorce?” But given the statistics that “what if” is likely to occur at some point in many marriages, every couple should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot.
Prenuptial agreements are incredibly useful when it comes to deciding issues in the event of an eventual divorce, especially when it comes time to determine asset division. The prenup should spell out, in no uncertain terms, what property each spouse should expect to walk away with in the event of a divorce. Unless the couple signs a prenuptial agreement covering the distribution of assets, all of the property obtained during the marriage can become a potential source of disagreement and even litigation during the divorce. While Maryland has not yet signed on to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which standardizes prenuptial agreement laws nationwide, Maryland statutes still address the issue of prenuptial agreements.
Contrary to popular belief, prenups aren’t just for the super-wealthy, and it has nothing to do with how much one spouse may or may not trust the strength of their marriage. Every couple could save thousands in potential litigation and attorney fees if they avoid arguing over issues that could be determined by mutual agreement in the prenup. It is a viable solution for people of every age and income level.
There are certain qualifications a prenuptial agreement must meet in order to be considered legally binding under Maryland law, so people shouldn’t take this matter into their own hands. Rather, they may want to contact a local family law attorney about drafting and executing a prenuptial agreement that suits the couple’s unique needs.
Source: FindLaw.com, “How to Determine if a Prenuptial Agreement is Right for You,” accessed July 28, 2014