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What Are Common Annapolis Prenuptial Agreement Terms?

patrickcrawford | May 19, 2022
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What Prenup Terms?

Annapolis Prenuptial agreement is a contract that guides how your divorce will proceed in the event that your marriage does end in divorce. Also, a prenuptial agreement establishes how your estate will be divided in the event you die while you are married. A prenuptial agreement is not a blueprint for divorce. Therefore, it in no way increases the risk that your marriage will end in divorce. 

The fact is that divorce is a very real risk when couples marry. Putting some thought into the terms of your divorce prior to needing them may help you ward off any such need. If your marriage does end in divorce, a valid prenuptial agreement can take a considerable amount of stress out of the equation. Are you considering a prenuptial agreement? or have been asked to sign one. Turn to the skilled legal guidance of an Annapolis Divorce attorney

The Terms of Your Annapolis Prenuptial Agreement

There are specific terms of a potential divorce that you can address – and that are commonly addressed – in a prenuptial agreement. 

Inheritances

If you stand to inherit a considerable amount of money or anything else of value in the future. Addressing this future inheritance in a prenuptial agreement is well advised. Maryland employs an equitable distribution system when it comes to the division of your marital property in a divorce. This means that your marital assets will be divided between you and your ex-spouse fairly. 

An inheritance in your name alone is generally considered separate property. Any commingling of assets can alter this characterization. Including a specific term in your prenuptial agreement can help you bypass this concern.

A large amount of money and house model

You Have Children from Another Relationship

There is another inheritance concern you can take into consideration in a prenuptial agreement. If you marry and already have children who were born from another relationship, there is a matter of your children’s inheritance to consider. A solid prenuptial agreement can help to ensure that your separate assets are distributed to your children fairly.  In the event of your death, an agreement can help to ensure your last wishes. The wishes are upheld in relation to the distribution of your share of marital property. A prenuptial agreement is something you should give careful consideration to. 

Retirement Accounts

If you have been contributing to a retirement account, you are likely invested in maintaining its separate nature in the event of divorce. The value of your retirement account prior to marriage will very likely be considered your separate property. So, any increase in its value over the course of your marriage will be considered marital. If you and your soon-to-be spouse each have your own retirement accounts, you may want to stipulate that each of you will retain your own in the event of divorce. 

Business Ownership

Owning a business is an aspect of divorce that universally complicates matters. If you bring a business into your marriage with you, keep the asset separate. Separating the asset throughout the course of your marriage can be challenging at best. An Annapolis prenuptial agreement can help guide your way. 

Other Considerations

Some of the specific terms of prenuptial agreements that are commonly addressed in the State of Maryland include:

  1. How spouses will divide their assets and debts in the event they divorce
  2. Each spouse’s individual ability to exert control over specific properties over the course of the marriage 
  3. Whether or not one spouse is entitled to alimony in the event the couple divorces, and if so, its amount and duration 
  4. Whether each spouse’s retirement accounts will be split in the division of marital property or will remain the separate property of each
  5. How the proceeds from any life insurance policies will be distributed

Annapolis Prenuptial Agreement – Mitigating Factors

There are certain factors that can call the validity of your prenuptial agreement into question, including:

  1. When the fraud was used in the creation of the contract. Such as if your spouse did not reveal the true nature of his or her assets or debts
  2. If duress or coercion was used in the creation of the contract. Such as if your spouse pressured you to sign the prenup mere days before the wedding ceremony
  3. When one spouse had undue influence over the other in the creation of the contract
  4. If the terms of the prenuptial agreement are deemed unconscionable, which translates to exceptionally unfair, by the court

When prenuptial agreements are created in good faith, they are generally enforceable. This is critical to ensure you have the protection that you believe the agreement provides heading into a divorce. 

The Terms You Cannot Address in Your Annapolis Prenuptial Agreement

Divorce terms that relate directly to your children – other than their inheritance – cannot be addressed in your prenuptial agreement. This is because, whenever a term of divorce relates to children, courts make determinations in accordance with the best interests of those children at the time. In other words, there are certain terms that cannot be addressed ahead of time. 

Child Custody Arrangements

When courts address the matter of child custody arrangements, they take a wide range of best-interest factors into consideration, and these cannot be accurately assessed prior to the fact. Such factors include:

  1. Each parents’ financial situation at the time of the divorce
  2. Each child’s age and developmental needs at the time of the divorce
  3. The mental and physical health of each child and each parent at the time of the divorce
  4. The proximity of the parents’ homes at the time of the divorce
  5. Whether or not fault played a role in the divorce

While child custody modifications are a possibility post-divorce, child custody arrangements are never determined prior to divorce, which means they cannot be addressed in prenuptial agreements. 

Child Support

Because child support also directly affects your children’s well-being, it is a divorce term that cannot be included in your prenuptial agreement. Child support is calculated according to state guidelines that apply at the time it is determined and, therefore, it cannot be calculated ahead of time. The only exception is if the child support terms included in your prenuptial agreement exceed the state’s requirements, such as if your prenuptial agreement includes terms related to your children’s college education or if the amount and duration of your child support terms exceed Maryland’s mandates. 

Father and son on a city background. View from the back

An Experienced Annapolis Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Can Help

If you have concerns about whether or not you need a prenuptial agreement or have been asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, Patrick Crawford at the Law Office of Patrick Crawford – proudly serving Annapolis – is a prenuptial agreement attorney who is standing by to help. Our dedicated legal team is committed to skillfully advocating for prenuptial terms that uphold your legal rights and best interests – while supporting your marriage from the outset. 

To learn more about what we can do to help you, please do not wait to contact or call us at (410) 216-7905 today.

 


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