Many couples perceive a certain stigma attached to prenuptial agreements, as they may seem unromantic and distrustful. However, because they can lay the groundwork for a respectful marriage, they are a sensible choice and have become a fairly common part of marital preparations.

Learning more about how establishing a prenuptial agreement can actually strengthen your relationship and prevent financial squabbles in the future.

What is a prenup?

Essentially, a prenuptial agreement helps couples establish some expectations and boundaries concerning their marriage.

Traditionally, prenups were only considered necessary in cases of marriage among the extremely wealthy. However, they are more important than ever for couples in any income bracket, since most partners today enter into marriage with money, assets, houses, stocks, retirement accounts or 401(k)s and children.

What does a prenup cover?

If the marriage fails, the prenup determines how most aspects of the separation will be handled, including:

Which spouse is responsible for repaying any debts incurred before the marriage
How much alimony one partner will pay the other
The duration of any alimony paid
How any property brought into the marriage by one partner will be divided

What doesn’t a prenup cover?

Prenuptial agreements don’t cover arrangements like child custody or child visitation rights, and usually do not allow one partner to waive or relinquish the right to alimony. However, the agreement may include a clause requiring a certain number of years to pass before the prenup is valid or a clause that renders it invalid if one partner is unfaithful.

Having a pre-arranged plan for handling all of the assets and property involved in a marriage can relieve stress in your relationship and allow you to focus on more important considerations. To learn more about drawing up or enforcing a prenuptial agreement, speak with an experienced Knoxville family law attorney.