Prenuptial Agreements Attorney Bethesda, MD
Asset protection before and after marriage
Though prenuptial agreements have been criticized for imposing cold calculation upon what should be a pristinely romantic occasion, they’ve become fairly standard for people of means. Statistics on divorce speak for themselves, so any person planning to marry someone on a lesser economic footing should pause and at least consider the merits of a prenuptial agreement. The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott drafts prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that protect your assets and negotiates in a manner that enhances rather than undermines the trust in your relationship.
Enforceable prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
The Maryland court recognizes and enforces prenuptial agreements that meet certain criteria. They must be negotiated, with two attorneys, well in advance of marriage. There must also be full financial disclosure. These measures help ensure that each person is entering into the agreement with a full understanding of what it entails. Documents should be signed well in advance so that the court will be satisfied that the pressure of the impending wedding didn’t unduly influence the agreement. Postnuptial agreements can be signed after marriage and are often negotiated when a couple has separated and wants to reconcile but needs to protect their assets. Postnups are enforced through the same criteria as prenups.
Protecting business or family assets with prenuptial agreements
When a bride or groom owns a business that he or she wishes to protect, a prenuptial agreement is in order. In Maryland, where equitable distribution is practiced, a business incorporated before the marriage is considered separate property, but any growth in the business after the marriage is marital property. Should the couple divorce, determining how much of the ongoing business is marital and how much is separate would be difficult at best. If the spouse who originally held the enterprise wanted to maintain ownership, there might not be enough other marital assets to offset its value. In that case, the couple would have to remain co-owners, dissolve the business or find a buyer for the other spouse’s share. A solid prenuptial agreement can avoid the time, expense and heartache of dealing with such circumstances.
Preserving family wealth as a legacy to your heirs
A person with significant family money generally wishes for that wealth to benefit his or her heirs, not a short-term partner. Likewise, an affluent person entering a second marriage may want to ensure that his or her children from a previous marriage will eventually benefit. A prenuptial agreement, like a well-drafted will, offers protections to ensure your intentions are honored.
Prenups as a hedge against relocation
As an equitable distribution state, Maryland provides more protection for separate property than community property states do. However, there is no guarantee that a couple will live in one state forever. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that, in the case of divorce, the couple settles property disputes according to the laws of the state where they were married.
Contact a knowledgeable Bethesda, Maryland prenuptial agreement attorney
To schedule a consultation to discuss your need for a prenuptial agreement in Bethesda, call The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott at 301-637-8527 or contact the firm online.