There are various kinds of marital agreements negotiated before marriage, during a happy or troubled marriage or after a marriage has broken down. Today when marriages can potentially last for fifty or more years the surest way to insure a plan for a lifelong relationship is to review, discuss and agree on your marital purpose and goals. Today when the concept of marriage is being re-defined planning before and during marriage becomes more and more necessary legally and financially.
One of the most compelling reasons for entering into an agreement is the fact that if you do not have a written agreement before marriage and cannot agree after marriage the government will decide for you. If you do not agree the courts will decide not only your marital status and the amount of support you will pay or receive but when and under what conditions you will see your children, who will care for them and who will decide every aspect of their physical, mental, psychological and educational care. In addition, the process is likely to be expensive and the result unsatisfactory to everyone involved.
Special circumstances make pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements even more desirable. Where the parties have children from a prior marriage there are estate issues that need to be addressed. When one spouse is investing a substantial sum in a new business venture there are ways to plan and agree to avoid the most likely problems that might occur whether the business succeeds or fails. If one party has substantially greater assets than the other or there is a considerable age discrepancy between the spouses, agreements should be considered. Where one spouse or both suffer from chronic illnesses or receive public benefits they should consult an attorney before marriage. The circumstances are as varied as the individuals seeking to start a life together but one thing is certain: being informed before undertaking marriage is likely to increase your long term chances for a happy and fulfilling relationship.
Preparing and planning before a major life event, is both wise and prudent. We are here to counsel, advise and assist you to make decisions now that will protect your future aspirations and long term goals.