If you are planning to get married in Maryland, or if you are already married but want to enter into a legal agreement with your spouse, you should consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. You might also have heard about prenuptial agreements being described as “premarital agreements” or simply as “prenups.” Each of these terms refers to a contract that two parties enter into prior to a marriage. A postnuptial, or postmarital agreement, can occur at any point after the marriage. In most ways, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements serve very similar purposes. Typically the only significant difference between them is when they occur—either before or after the marriage.
Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be extremely beneficial for almost anyone in a relationship. While commentators used to talk about these kinds of agreements as though they were only for wealthy couples, they allow parties of all socioeconomic backgrounds to come to agreements about property and financial issues in the event of a divorce. If you have questions about developing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you should speak with a Columbia prenuptial & postnuptial agreement lawyer to learn more about how we can assist you.
The following are some of the most common issues that soon-to-be or current spouses contract about in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements:
Couples can enter into agreements about many different matters in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, but issues concerning the elimination of child support typically are not permitted in one of these contracts.
Many states have statutes that govern what can go into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Maryland is different, and there is no specific statute governing these agreements. Instead, they are typically handled according to contract law in the state.
Since contract law governs Maryland prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, it can be more difficult to prove that one of these agreements is unenforceable in court due to an unfair result for one of the parties. For example, in the relatively recent Court of Special Appeals of Maryland case Stewart v. Stewart (2013), the court concluded that a prenuptial agreement was enforceable even though it resulted in the husband and wife having very disparate financial situations after a divorce. The court reasoned that the wife knew about the husband’s assets and had time to consult a lawyer prior to signing the agreement, and thus it was less important about whether the effects of the prenuptial agreement were unfair.
In sum, it is extremely important to work with an attorney in drafting and before signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. At the same time, you will need the help of an aggressive Columbia family law attorney if you want to contest the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement.
If you need assistance with a contract between yourself and your partner, you should speak with a Howard County prenuptial or postnuptial agreement attorney as soon as you can. You can get started by contacting the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA online, or give us a call at 410-766-0113.
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Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044