Tag Archive for: prenuptial agreements

How Prenuptial Agreements Protect Children in a Second Marriage

Getting a second chance at true love is exhilarating. However, second marriages also bring a variety of complex financial situations and different family dynamics. When both parties have established themselves in their careers and acquired assets from their previous marriages, it can be difficult to figure out how to protect those assets should something happen. If one or both spouses have children from their previous marriages, it’s even more important to protect separate assets for the benefit of the children.

Wondering if you need a prenuptial agreement? Learn more about how prenuptial agreements can protect your children when you remarry. When you’re ready to discuss your prenup, call Pence Law Firm at 304-345-7250.

Protecting Your Children’s Assets and Inheritances

One of the main reasons you may seek a prenuptial agreement before you remarry is to protect your children’s assets and inheritances. You may think you’re in the clear if you own certain assets before marriage, but it’s not always that easy. 

Separate assets may become marital assets if commingled, making them subject to division. This means that the assets you intended for your children could end up split in a future divorce. Your prenuptial agreement will specify which assets should be considered separate in a divorce, safeguarding everything you’ve built for your children.

Your prenuptial agreement can also specify how your assets should be handled if you pass during the course of your marriage. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a prenup in a second marriage. Without a clear division of assets, intestacy rules may leave your new spouse with the lion’s share of your assets, forcing your children to go without.

A clear and legally enforceable prenuptial agreement can also protect your children from the pain of a drawn-out inheritance dispute if you pass away. Without legal protection, it’s possible for your spouse to lay claim to assets you’d intended for your children. Fighting this could cost your children thousands in legal fees.

Clarifying Financial Responsibilities

A strong prenuptial agreement can open a discussion about financial responsibilities and your obligations to each other’s children. While the agreements you come to may not be legally enforceable, these discussions have saved many people from unintentionally entering a second marriage that would not have served them. 

For example, imagine finding out that your spouse-to-be expects you to financially support your children and their children from a previous marriage—even though you earn the same amount of money. Or, think about how stressful it would be to find out that your new spouse wants you to step fully into a parental role, even though it would mean stepping on the toes of the child’s other involved parent.

On the legal side, these conversations can lead to agreements that you can include in your prenup. You may specify how property acquired during the marriage is to be split should you divorce or come to an agreement regarding alimony, which is especially important if there’s a significant earning disparity.

Creating a Safe and Secure Environment for Children

While this isn’t necessarily a legal benefit of a prenuptial agreement, creating a prenup can help you build an environment where your children feel safe and secure. The discussions that lead to a prenuptial agreement also give you plenty of opportunities to discuss the role that both parents will have in the children’s lives, the division of household labor, discipline, and parenting strategies, and communication techniques. Starting a marriage on the right foot like this is beneficial for both the couple and their children, giving everyone the space they need to voice their concerns and advocate for themselves.

Additionally, if your children are older, they may be worried about the financial ramifications of your remarriage. Knowing their inheritances and assets are safe can help them accept your new spouse more readily.

Ready to Draft Your Prenup? Call Pence Law Firm

When you’re ready to start working on your prenuptial agreement, the team at Pence Law Firm is here to help. We will explain your options, how different choices may play out, and our recommendations. Get started now by reaching out online or calling us at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation with our team of Charleston family law attorneys.

What Can and Cannot Be Included in A Prenuptial Agreement?

You are not alone if you are thinking of getting a prenuptial agreement or prenup before getting married. According to a report published by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been a significant rise in prenuptial agreements since 2016.

While divorce is not something one wants to think of when getting married – having a prenuptial agreement is a wise thing to do. Speak with a qualified divorce attorney in West Virginia about protecting your assets, interests, and legal rights if you are considering a prenup or postnup agreement.

Things that Can be Included in West Virginia Prenuptial Agreements

Distribution of Marital Property

West Virginia has its own separate laws governing the distinction between separate and marital property. Marital property or community property is usually distributed equitably. Any property that is acquired or earned during the course of the marriage is considered marital property. You can prevent having the court dictate the terms of distribution of your property by using a prenuptial agreement.

Debts of a Spouse

Creditors may come after the marital property without a prenuptial agreement. This is even when you did not have a say in your spouse taking on the debt. You can limit your debt liability exposure using a prenup.

Providing for Children from a Previous Marriage

You may want to have a prenuptial agreement in place if you have children from a previous relationship. There have been instances where the subsequent spouse has failed in being fair to children from previous relationships. Prenuptial agreements can ensure that your children inherit the property you intended for them to have.

Protecting Family Property

Family businesses, family heirlooms, and future inheritance can be specified in a prenuptial agreement. You can make sure they don’t end up being contested during a divorce. Prenups allow the property to be kept in the birth family if that is your intent.

Estate Plans

Prenuptial agreements play a major role in ensuring that the estate plan you create is fulfilled as you want it to be.

Property Distribution During a Divorce

You can bypass most of West Virginia’s laws regarding the distribution of property during a divorce by agreeing between yourselves about who gets what through a prenuptial agreement. In fact, you can even decide which spouse pays alimony and by how much through a prenup in West Virginia. You should consult with a family law attorney to clarify this issue when creating your prenuptial agreement.

Things that Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements

West Virginia laws restrict the things that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. These are a few of them:

Illegal Considerations

West Virginia Law prohibits soon-to-be-married couples from including anything illegal in the provisions of a prenuptial agreement. In fact, you may place the entire prenup document at risk of being set aside if you do this.

Child Custody or Child Support

West Virginia doesn’t allow child custody issues or child support matters to be included in a prenuptial agreement. This is because the court needs to keep the best interests of the child at the forefront when deciding child custody and support matters.

There are several factors that come into play when determining child support. The court will never uphold a provision dealing with child support, child custody, or visitation. In effect, the court retains the power to decide the best interests of the child.

Waiving Off Rights to Alimony

This is one of the most common provisions that get struck down by courts in WV. While you can decide which spouse needs to pay alimony during a divorce, no spouse can entirely give up their alimony rights. You should talk to a golden and committed divorce attorney to understand your legal rights.

Financial Incentives for Divorce

The court will scrutinize your prenuptial agreement looking for anything that offers a financial incentive to divorce your partner. In case any provision is thought to be encouraging divorce, the prenuptial agreement will be set aside by the court.

For instance, any provision detailing the manner in which property is divided can be seen as encouraging divorce. This makes it important to work with an attorney that can word the document in a manner that doesn’t go against the interests of society.

Provisions of a Personal Nature

Unfortunately, prenups cannot be used for including personal preferences. You cannot state who does the chores, names to use for children, where to spend the holidays, or the relationship to maintain with certain relatives. You and your spouse can always draft another document that specifies such things. This way the court will not have the power to intervene.

Legal Help is Here from Highly-Rated Divorce Attorneys in West Virginia

The law office of Pence Law Firm has experienced family law attorneys that can ensure your prenuptial agreements and any other documents are carefully worded and your best interests are fully protected. By hiring us, you get more than a century’s worth of trusted legal advocacy on your side. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (304) 345-7250 or fill out this online contact form.