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Annapolis Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer 

Crafting Secure Prenuptial Agreements in Maryland 

When a couple makes the decision to get married, it is an excellent choice for a couple to obtain a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup or premarital agreement. A prenuptial agreement basically states what both spouses wishes are if the decision should ever be made to file for separation or divorce. It will spell out precisely what type of spousal support or alimony will be paid, and who gets what property and assets.

In the state of Maryland, a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document. It can be of great comfort to both parties in a marriage because it can help to avoid a long drawn out court battle if a divorce should ever take place. It is also a very positive way for a soon to be couple to communicate their needs and what they want in regards to a marriage. For instance, if a spouse has a business and does not want the other spouse to have any rights to the business if they should divorce, this can be written in a prenuptial agreement and will be upheld by the family law courts.

To speak with an experienced Maryland prenuptial agreement lawyer, give us a call at (410) 593-0040 or contact us online today. 

What is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup, is a legally binding contract established between two people prior to marriage. In the state of Maryland, a prenup provides both parties with protection and safeguards their rights should they decide to end the marriage. It spells out how assets, debts, and property are to be divided if the marriage ends in divorce.

Typically, a prenup defines things such as: 

  • Who owns what property or assets before entering into the marriage.
  • Who will have responsibility of any debt incurred during the course of the marriage.
  • Whether there will be alimony payments if one party decides to leave
  • It can provide guidance on other issues such as child custody and visitation schedules in case of divorce.
  • Depending on individual circumstances, it may dictate any future changes to each spouse's will or estate plans upon death or divorce.

Many people have the notion that prenuptial agreements are only to be used among couples with substantial assets, however they are beneficial for couples varying economic statuses. For example, if one party does not currently own any property or assets but expects to receive an inheritance or large sum in the future, a prenup can be used to protect those assets from being subject to division should the marriage end in divorce.

It is also beneficial for couples with children from previous marriages who want to ensure that the children will benefit from their parents' assets in case something happens to the parent. Additionally, a prenup can be used to protect creditors should a spouse incur debt during the course of their marriage. 

Even if a couple does not have any current financial concerns, they may still want to consider drafting a prenup as it gives them peace of mind and allows them to create an open dialogue about how they plan on handling finances within the marriage. Ultimately, it can help alleviate unnecessary stress in case of divorce and provide both parties with legal clarity and protection.

Drafting this document requires input from both parties and can often take anywhere from a few weeks up to several months depending on its complexity. An experienced family law attorney can help ensure that all legal requirements are met so that your agreement is enforceable in court should you need it at some point down the road.

Can a Prenup Include Child Custody and Support?

Prenuptial agreements are not legally designed to determine child custody or support. This is because child support is a legal right that a parent cannot take away. Also, child custody is determined on what is in the best interests of the child; a contract created by the parents cannot decide on this.

What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Valid?

Most states utilize the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act when evaluating the validity of a prenup. However, Maryland enforces prenups the identical way as other contracts created in the state. Essentially, the prenuptial agreement must be in writing, with each spouse signing the document. All assets and debts must be disclosed by each party unless one spouse agrees to waive that right. Once the couple is married, the agreement becomes valid.

The validity of the document can be challenged, if one or more of the following exists:

  • Fraud
  • Undue influence or duress
  • Unconscionability
  • Coercion

Steps to Drafting a Prenup in Maryland 

To get a prenup in Maryland, you and your partner will need to follow these steps:

  1. Discuss the prenup with your partner. It's important to have an open and honest conversation about your financial goals and expectations before you create a prenup.
  2. Hire a lawyer. Each of you should hire your own lawyer to review the prenup and advise you on its terms.
  3. Prepare the prenup. Your lawyers will help you draft the prenup, which should include a list of all assets and debts, as well as any agreements about financial responsibilities during the marriage.
  4. Review and sign the prenup. Both you and your partner should carefully review the prenup and make sure you understand all of its terms. Once you've both signed it, the prenup becomes legally binding.

It's important to note that prenuptial agreements are not recognized in every state, and each state has its own laws governing the requirements for creating a valid prenup. It's always a good idea to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney before creating a prenup. 

How Long Do Prenups Last?

Prenuptial agreements can last forever, unless an end date is specified in the contract. Even then, a judge must approve of the provisions to ensure that it is fair for both sides.

Maryland is unique, in that no law specifically governs prenuptial agreements. This is handled by contract law only. For this reason, it is important to discuss the legalities surrounding prenups with one of our attorneys.

Contact Our Annapolis Prenuptial Agreements Attorney Today  

Please contact the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis today to learn more about the legal steps that couples may take to avoid any negative conflicts should they ever decide to separate or divorce. A knowledgeable Annapolis prenuptial agreements attorney will meet with potential clients during a free initial consultation. During the consultation, we can explain why obtaining a prenuptial agreement is so very important both now and in the future. The Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis provides sound legal advice, guidance and services to clients in need of experienced legal representation.

Please contact an Annapolis prenuptial agreements lawyer at our firm to discuss any type of family law matters in regards to marriage, divorce, separation, child custody or estate planning.

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