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Ohio Prenuptial Agreements

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

Ohio Divorce Attorney

In part one of our new series” Ask an Attorney,” our blogger talks to our expert legal team about Ohio prenuptial agreements. Read below for answers to commonly asked questions!

1.Why are prenuptial agreements a good idea?

The presence of prenuptial agreements has increased significantly in recent years. This trend can be attributed to a higher marriage age and, therefore, more assets and interests to protect. Signing a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” may be a good idea in a number of cases, listed in detail below:

  • You own or have interest in one or more businesses

  • You have property such as stocks, real estate, significant savings or retirement accounts

  • You may receive a significant inheritance

  • One party may at one point support the other through higher-level education

  • You expect to receive a large increase in income

2. What are the benefits of getting a prenuptial agreement?

The benefits of signing prenuptial agreements are abundant. At the onset of a marriage, this document will define what property is deemed “separate property” and what property is/will be considered “marital property.” Clearly defining the difference between the two can protect your separate property in Ohio divorce proceedings. Having property defined from the outset of a marriage can also reduce conflict and cut down on attorney costs should the marriage end in divorce or dissolution.

3. How long before my wedding date should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

Signing the agreement well before the marriage date is always a good idea, typically at least thirty (30) days before the wedding. This ensures that both parties have sufficient time to consider the content and principles set forth by the agreement prior to getting married. Should the marriage end in divorce and the agreement be challenged in court, the court may be less likely to consider that the agreement was signed under duress, coercion, or other influence.

4. Are there requirements that must be met for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and enforceable?

Yes, there are several factors the agreement must comply with in order to be considered valid and enforceable. First, the agreement must be in writing, signed, and witnessed by two individuals. Additionally, both parties must provide complete disclosure of all assets and liabilities. Finally, there cannot be evidence of undue influence, duress, or coercion when signing a pre-nuptial agreement or its validity may be challenged.

It is important to note here that, if the parties choose to have legal representation, each party should retain his/her own counsel to review the document. One attorney, legally-speaking, can only represent one party, never both.

There are no limitations on what you may include in your agreement. It is important, however, to note that some terms may not be enforceable in the future. A good example of a clause that may not be upheld by the court in divorce proceedings is anything related to child custody and child support. During the divorce process, the court will take into account what action is in the best interest of the child at that given moment, not what a premarital agreement that was written before the birth of the child outlines.

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