Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are critical to protecting your assets in the event of a divorce. Many people are coming into marriages with premarital assets, whether from inherited funds or from having accumulated assets before the marriage. While everyone enters into their marriage with the hope that it will last forever, unfortunately this is often not the case. It is important not only to protect the premarital assets but to determine what will happen to assets accumulated and income earned during the marriage. While these discussions are uncomfortable and often stressful, it is critical to have these discussions with your soon-to-be spouse prior to the marriage and to enter into a prenuptial agreement when appropriate.

The firm is very experienced in drafting complete and complex prenuptial agreements for individuals in Hamilton and the surrounding Ohio counties.

Prenuptial, or premarital, agreements are recognized in Ohio, and public policy allows the enforcement of them. In fact, the overwhelming majority of prenuptial agreements are upheld in Ohio when litigated; only on rare occasions have prenuptial agreements been struck down in their entirety by Ohio.

A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. For the agreement to be enforceable, it must be entered into freely without fraud, duress, coercion or overreaching. There must be a full disclosure of assets by both parties, and a full knowledge and understanding of the nature, value, and extent of the prospective spouse's property. The terms cannot promote divorce or profiteering by divorce.

Both parties to a premarital agreement must have a meaningful opportunity to consult with counsel. In order to protect from litigation later, both parties must be represented by counsel.

The prenuptial agreement should address issues related to both the death of one of the parties or divorce. The divorce provisions may address property division, debts and spousal support. The parties may also provide in the prenuptial agreement the manner in which they will handle their finances during the marriage. Custody and child support issues cannot be determined in a prenuptial agreement.

There are many reasons why people would enter into a premarital agreement. Frequently, both parties entering into their second marriages will want a prenuptial agreement, oftentimes to protect the interests of their children from the first marriage. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement is a way to protect separate property that each spouse is bringing into the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are also used when there is a large disparity in the financial status of the parties. The agreement can protect the person with few assets by ensuring they are not left with nothing, and the person with substantial assets by protecting those assets.

To learn more or to set up a consultation, contact our Cincinnati office at 513-421-4420 or use our online contact form.