Prenuptial agreements may be particularly effective when dividing a couple’s assets if they ever end their marriage. But, millennials are finding new issues that arise during property division in a divorce that justify drafting a prenup.
Traditionally, a prenup was helpful in community property states like Texas where property acquired during the marriage is divided equally. These agreements allow a couple to control how property can be allocated regardless of state law.
Student loans are usually in the name of the spouse who borrowed the money. But, many couples agreed to pay them off together while they were married. A prenuptial agreement may provide for credit or compensation to the spouse who helped pay off that loan if they ever divorce.
No value may be placed on the affection and devotion families have for their pets. Courts, however, continue to treat them as property when dividing the couple’s assets. A prenuptial agreement may address pet ownership.
The spouses may address whether frozen sperm or eggs will be designated as separate property. There may be complications, especially for same-sex couples. Partners may plan to create embryos with a partner’s egg or sperm and a donor’s reproductive material. To address this type of complication, couples can agree in the prenuptial agreement that an embryo created with one partner’s egg or sperm with a donor’s reproductive material return to that spouse. However, the purchasing and freezing agreements should contain only that partner’s name.
Couples should also determine, in advance, whether any business will be community or spousal property if they ever divorce. Otherwise, the couple may have to hire experts to determine the value of the business and litigate any disagreements in court. Couples may draft these agreements even if a business is being organized to avoid having to surrender any business interest that they develop with important assets.
Finally, a spouse may step away from the work force to raise children or relocate. The prenup may cover reimbursement or a stipend for expenses if they separate.
Each spouse should have an attorney advise them on these agreements. An attorney can help review terms and provide options.