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Things to Know Before and After You Get Married


No Longer Just for the Rich and Famous

Once a staple for the uber-rich and famous, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are becoming more popular with everyday people across Minnesota and North Dakota. This may be in part because couples are waiting longer to say “I do”. Therefore, they’ve accumulated assets before the marriage, which they wish to take with them should it end in divorce. When it comes to prenups and postnups, there are few things to know about how they will affect you before and after you get married.

What are Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements?

Prenups and postnups are legally binding documents signed by both partners in the marriage. They define how some or all resources will be handled in a divorce. Correctly designed, both supersede existing state divorce laws dictating how assets are distributed.

Money Disagreements Are a Leading Cause for Divorce

According to Psychology Today, disagreements over money are a leading reason couples divorce. Financial infidelity (spending, saving, or gambling money behind a spouse’s back) can be as devastating to a relationship as sexual infidelity. A prenuptial agreement will ensure that how one partner handles money won’t have a detrimental effect on the other’s finances. Since both partners sign the document, both agree to the terms.

Prenuptial Agreements Should Protect Both Parties

On the surface, prenuptial agreements seem to favor the spouse who entered the marriage with more assets. However, a good prenup is set up to secure the interests of both parties. It would also likely allow the spouse with less money to receive alimony and/or a payout for each year of the marriage.

Prenups can even be designed with a built-in termination date. Let’s say the wealthier partner decides that 20 years together is a good indicator that the union wasn’t entered into for money. Then, a sunset clause could be built in to dissolve the agreement once the 20 anniversary is reached.

A Prenup Can Protect You from Your Spouse’s Debt

A prenuptial agreement isn’t always created to safeguard one’s assets; it can be designed to ensure you are not responsible for the debt the other partner brings into the marriage. For instance, if your future husband carries a large amount of credit card debt or student loan debt, but you have none; your prenup can be crafted to ensure that you are not taking half of that debt with you if you divorce.

Hire an Experienced Prenup Agreement Attorney

A prenuptial agreement can guarantee that an inheritance intended for children from a previous marriage remains secure. It can also protect a business and guarantee generational family homes remain in the family.

There are many reasons why you may want to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement. But, it’s always a good idea to work with a seasoned attorney who knows the legalities of such documents. They also should work to see that both parties understand just what they are signing. Call Thorwaldsen and Malmstrom PLLP for a free consultation on prenuptial agreements in Detroit Lakes, MN, and the surrounding area.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

As the name indicates, a postnuptial agreement is signed after a couple is married. Some couples are turned off by the idea of signing a document concerning their divorce before they even enter into what is supposed to be a lifelong commitment. After reality sets in, they may take a more practical approach and reconsider such a contract. In some cases, a couple may decide to dissolve their prenuptial agreement. They then come up with something that better reflects their situation by creating a postnuptial agreement.

Once children enter the scene, one partner may decide to quit working in order to care for them. This is when many couples sit down and define how to properly compensate the stay-at-home parent. This is of utmost importance if the marriage ends in divorce or separation.

A postnup can also be designed to protect one spouse from having to pay the debt the other accumulated by saying “I do.” A postnuptial agreement isn’t ideal for every married couple, but it does work well for certain people. If you’re curious about postnuptial agreements in MN or ND, call our office for a free consultation.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Promote Open Communication

Thanks to the honest and open communication prenuptial and postnuptial agreements require they can help couples keep their eyes wide open before and after they are married and remove much of the acrimony money can bring to a relationship. These documents can assist in developing trust, help couples work together to benefit the family and make both partners be more responsible when it comes to finances.

We Represent Clients in NW Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota

Throwaldsen and Malmstrom PLLP has a team of experienced lawyers standing by to help you design a prenup or postnup that will protect your interests, secure your future and introduce transparency into your marriage. Call now to learn more.