Our Lawyers Draft Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements
Maryland courts recognize prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, but they hold them to a very high standard. The process that led to the creation of the prenup or postnup must have been fair to both parties, and the resulting agreement itself must be fair to both parties.
More specifically, both parties must fully disclose all their assets, enter into the agreement voluntarily and be independently represented by their own attorney during the negotiation of the agreement. Our Rockville and Frederick family law lawyers at McLeod, Weschler & Yeager, P.C., have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting premarital and postmarital agreements.
When Should Couples Create A Marital Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements, also known as antenuptial agreements, should be negotiated and signed well in advance of the marriage. Otherwise, the court might conclude that one or both of the parties were under pressure because of the imminent wedding.
Postnuptial agreements can be negotiated and signed at any time during the marriage. Couples who have separated but then reconciled sometimes use postnuptial agreements to protect their assets in case the reconciliation doesn’t last.
Can A Prenup Include Alimony?
Yes. Prenuptial agreements usually address alimony and property division. Some states do not allow the parties to waive alimony in a prenuptial agreement, but Maryland is not one of those states. If challenged, however, a Maryland prenup that rules out alimony is likely to be closely scrutinized by the court.
What About Children From A Prior Marriage?
When one or both of the spouses have children from a previous marriage, it’s common for the prenup to specify how the spouse’s property will be passed on to those children in the event of divorce or the death of the spouse. This is particularly important when a spouse enters a marriage late in life and has substantial assets.
Can You Set Child Support In A Prenup?
A spouse cannot enforce an agreement that impairs a child’s right to be financially supported or to have a future relationship with one of the parents. So no court will honor a marital agreement that gives up future child support payments or restricts future child custody and visitation.
The court will address these issues during the divorce proceedings, and any agreement that doesn’t serve the best interests of the child will be ignored. At McLeod, Weschler & Yeager, P.C., our lawyers help you negotiate prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that meet the standards of Maryland law.
Are Prenups Available In Same-Sex Marriages?
Maryland has recognized same-sex marriages since January 1, 2013, and has honored same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions since 2010. Gay and lesbian couples in Maryland have the same right as anyone else to enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. At McLeod, Weschler & Yeager, P.C., our attorneys are proud to meet the legal needs of engaged or newlywed LGBT couples.
Who Needs A Prenup Or Postnup?
Marital agreements are not just for the wealthy. In fact, spouses with few assets have a smaller margin of error in the event of divorce. Consider a prenup or postnup agreement if:
- You own a business
- You have received or expect to receive an inheritance
- You have children from previous marriages
- One of you is substantially wealthier than the other
- One of you is putting the other through college or professional school
- Your financial situation is likely to dramatically change in the future