Most people will get married at least once in their lifetime and with the best of intentions. However, it can pay to be smart before tying the knot. The sad reality of things is that half of all marriages will end in divorce. Having a prenuptial agreement (also referred to as an “antenuptial agreement” in Ohio) is one of the ways to protect yourself, and your family, in the unfortunate event of a divorce.

Prenuptial-AgreementA primary benefit to entering a prenuptial agreement before getting married in the State of Ohio is that it can protect the assets you owned prior to the marriage. A carefully drafted prenuptial agreement can help to ensure that all assets you owned prior to the marriage, and any assets derived therefrom after the marriage, remain yours and are not divided in the event of a divorce.

Another benefit may be the ability to limit the amount and duration of any future spousal support award in the event of a divorce. Although a prenuptial agreement may include limitations on spousal support in the future, a court will generally look to whether any such agreement is fair based on the circumstances at the time of the divorce rather than the circumstances at the time of the marriage. This is not the case with the division of assets, where the court will enforce the terms of the agreement, regardless of the parties’ circumstances at the time of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement may also be a wise decision for couples getting married for the second or more time. This is because there may be children from a previous marriage that you would like to ensure receive certain items and not your new spouse in the event of a divorce or your death.

Entering into a prenuptial agreement is a decision that must be made by both spouses in an open and honest environment. It is important that both parties understand the ramifications of entering into such an agreement prior to the marriage. To that end, it is advisable that both parties hire separate attorneys who can advise each person separately. Doing so may also prevent any future challenges to the agreement in the event of a divorce.