Seattle Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers Explains How to Create a Successful Prenup

The decision to create a prenup can be a stressful event in itself. Once you’ve decided to create one, the next difficult decision is: What should we include? or How do we divide everything up? Our Seattle prenuptial agreement lawyers understand your concerns, and address some commonly asked questions below.

What Can be Included in a Prenup?

The most common thing addressed in prenuptial agreements is ownership and division of property. Couples might agree to treat everything they brought into the marriage as community. Or they might agree that certain property acquired even after marriage will be separate.

Often alimony is also agreed on. It could be stated as an amount certain, or a formula for calculating it might be worked out. This may be of particular concern if it relates to other agreements about the roles each person will play in the marriage. If one person is agreeing to forgo a career in order to raise a family or better support the career of the other, it may be very helpful to know how those sacrifices in earning capacity will be addressed in the event of a divorce.

Beyond property division and alimony, couples may wish to make plans for what they want their married life to look like. Besides issues of forgoing careers, they might want to agree on other rights and responsibilities. What child raising roles will each be expected to take on? Is one party going to manage the family finances, including investments and bill paying? How much decision making power should they have before the other is consulted?

Some couples may not wish to live according to societal norms, and want to make their own rules. Maybe they each want to continue to manage their own financial affairs just like before they were married. Maybe they have personal religious or other beliefs they want to incorporate into their marriage contract. Maybe they just have a different definition of marriage or family.

Some of the things a couple might choose to include in their prenuptial agreement may not be legal enforceable, but simply constitute an understanding that will help them live together better. (You might agree in writing that the coffee snob spouse gets to make all coffee bean purchases, but there are likely no legal consequences if the other spouse goes ahead and buys their favorite beans on occasion.) Other agreements will have specific legal consequences. Your Seattle prenuptial agreement attorney can help you understand which is which.

Finally, the couple should also think about addressing what happens if down the road they decide they want to do things differently and not follow the plan they drew up in their prenup. What if the spouse they agreed would work loses the ability to work, or what if the spouse who agreed to stay home decides to go back to work?

Can We Also Work Out Parenting Plans and Child Support in Advance?

When a couple is on good terms is always the best time to work out areas of possible future conflict. Therefore it may be very helpful to work out parenting arrangements in case of separation. Child support is more dependent on the financial circumstances at the time it is ordered, so is less likely to being agreed on far in advance.

At the same time, agreements in those areas are more advisory than binding. Any parenting or child support agreements are subject to court review and may be overruled by the court if it does not feel that the agreements follow the law or promote the best interests of the children. Seattle prenuptial agreement lawyers can help you draft arrangements that are most likely to be upheld at time of divorce.

Can We Use the Same Law Firm for Our Seattle Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers? 

While there is no requirement that the parties have attorneys, a prenuptial agreement made without both parties having attorneys may be more easily attacked and overturned in court. An attorney drafting a prenuptial agreement represents the person who hired them, and it would be a conflict of interest for an attorney to represent both sides at the same time. At the very least both sides should have legal counsel in the preparation of the prenuptial agreement, even if one divorce attorney does all the actual drafting. I should also mention again that I have had very good results using a collaborative process for these types of agreements to help avoid it becoming unnecessarily adversarial.

Call Seattle Divorce Services Today To Discuss Your Options with Our Seattle Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers

If you want to develop a prenup or postnuptial agreement with your partner, discuss your divorce and family law concerns with a Seattle prenuptial agreement lawyer. To schedule an appointment, we can be reached through the form on our website, or you can call us at 206-784-3049.