Prenuptial agreements or premarital agreements can be important financial planning tools for couples that are hopeful in establishing the start of a marriage with peace of mind for both spouses. Recently, the American Bar Association Journal reported an increase in prenuptial agreements that stipulate lifestyle standards, rather than financial arrangements.
Celebrity lawyers report that they have encountered lifestyle clauses that deal with physical appearances and infidelities. Although it has not been confirmed, Katie Holmes was allegedly prohibited by her prenuptial agreement from publicly dating for five years after her divorce from Tom Cruise. For the not-so-famous, a lifestyle clause might deal with more mundane issues, such as where children from the marriage are to be raised and under what religion, even if the couple goes through a divorce. According to the online legal services company, LegalZoom, one couple agreed on a prenuptial agreement that only allowed the husband’s mother limited visits. Another woman made her future husband sign a prenuptial agreement that said he could watch one Sunday football game with his friends per month. A popular prenuptial agreement request is one that limits the amount of time a spouse can spend online. Whether or not a prenuptial agreement regarding using curse words can be enforced during a marriage is questionable, as the spouse could also be penalized in the event of a divorce.
Uses for Prenuptial Agreements
The true nature of a prenuptial agreement is to make arrangements for circumstances such as fatality or divorce, not to regulate life during marriage. Every marriage is a unique situation and for some couples, it can be very important to safeguard their financial future before the marriage takes place. The best example of this is when the marriage is not the first one for one or both spouses. It could also be that one or both spouses are carrying a large amount of personal debt or one spouse is considerably better off than the other.
Other circumstances that may require a prenuptial agreement include one spouse supporting the other while they complete their higher education, or one spouse agreeing to stay home to raise the children instead of pursuing a lucrative career. When children from any previous relationships are involved, often a prenuptial agreement can be helpful.
Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement in Maryland
For a prenuptial agreement to be valid in Maryland, certain criteria must be met. It is highly advisable to retain the services of an experienced lawyer to ensure your document is legally sound.
In Maryland prenuptial agreements must be:
- Fair to both spouses
- Entered into freely on both sides without coercion or under duress
- Accurately reflect the finances of both spouses including all assets and liabilities
- In writing and signed by both spouses
The prenuptial agreement should demonstrate that both spouses were legally represented and the agreement can never be used to restrict child custody, child support, or visitation rights.
Towson Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Premarital Legal Planning Services
Whether you are drafting a prenuptial agreement, need help enforcing one, or are challenging an unfair prenuptial agreement, the Towson prenuptial agreement lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are ready to assist you with all of your family law legal needs. Call 443-589-0150 to schedule a free and confidential consultation or contact us online. From our convenient offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients throughout the greater Baltimore area.