Getting married is one of the most significant and exciting moments in life. However, as couples prepare for their big day, it is common for doubts and concerns to arise. One of the most sensitive topics that may come up is whether to sign a prenuptial agreement or not. Here are some important things to consider when preparing a prenuptial agreement in Indiana.
You need to specify how you will divide your property in the event of a divorce. Think about the assets you may acquire during the marriage and the premarital assets you want to keep separate. In Indiana, marital property is typically divided by law in a manner that is considered “just and reasonable” based on the circumstances of the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can override this default rule and allow you to determine your property division arrangement.
Spousal support or alimony
Indiana law allows for the possibility of spousal support in certain circumstances, but a prenuptial agreement can modify or eliminate this obligation. If the two of you have significant income disparities, you may need to decide if the one who is more financially dependent on the other will get financial support.
You may also need to identify what debts you need to address: credit card debt, student loans, mortgages and other types of debt. Couples are more likely to take out joint loans. You might need to allocate debts by assigning specific obligations to each other. Think about the scenarios when one of you has more liability as well.
Inheritance and family property
You should also deliberate on whether inherited assets are going to be separate property. Some may choose to consider it marital property that is subject to division in the event of a divorce. But if the assets are to remain independent, the agreement should include provisions to keep them separate throughout the marriage. Think of individual property assets that might be commingled with the marital property during the marriage, too. It can be more difficult to distinguish them during a divorce.
Business interests can always be a sensitive topic for couples entering marriage, especially if the business is a joint venture or one side of the family has more at stake. If one spouse owns a business, you need to specify if the other spouse will have any claim to the company in the event of a divorce. In the case of an equal partnership, you may decide early who would buy out the other or if you intend to still work together after separation.
Note that prenuptial agreements can be complex legal documents. Laws and requirements for prenuptial agreements can vary by state. Consulting with a local attorney familiar with Indiana law is important to ensure your prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable.
While a prenuptial agreement may not be necessary for every couple, it can be a valuable tool for protecting your assets and clarifying expectations. It can provide financial transparency and trust for building a strong and stable marriage.