Marital agreements like prenuptials can provide you with security and protect your rights if something happens between you and your spouse. It’s natural to avoid thinking about such negative possibilities, but it’s always wise to be prepared.

The prenuptial agreement lawyers at Erb Legal have helped countless people in and around Akron prepare for their futures and protect themselves. Call today at 330-249-1778 or use our contact form to reach out.

Tom Erb Jr. is the family lawyer you want in your corner.

View Firm Awards

Types of Marital Agreements

You and your spouse can enter into a marital agreement before or after marriage. Either way, these legal contracts help avoid conflict and confusion about property, debts, and other issues if you divorce.

They also provide security for children and other family members if something happens. Assets, including money, interests in a family business, and more, are typically split in a divorce.

A marital agreement might cover:

  • Spousal support
  • Ownership of a home
  • Family business
  • Separate property

What’s a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement may also be called a “prenup” or “antenuptial agreement.” It is a contract between two people before marriage. If the marriage ends, a prenup may help prevent a lengthy and expensive divorce.

Are Postnuptial Agreements Allowed in Ohio?

While a prenup is a contract before marriage, a postnuptial agreement occurs after a marriage takes place. Both marriage agreements address financial issues, property division, custody, and other responsibilities should the relationship end, but prior to the passage of Senate Bill 210, postnuptial agreements were not permitted in Ohio. However, Ohio now joins 48 other states that allow married couples to change prior prenuptial agreements and enter into new agreements. This can help married couples who want to clearly outline property division and financial issues or help couples with outdated prenuptial agreements.

Keep in mind that postnuptial agreements in Ohio are new and have strict requirements to be enforceable. It’s best to work with an attorney who understands your situation to create a legally binding contract that avoids future problems.

What Goes Into a Marital Agreement?

Prenup agreements address issues that are commonly fought over in a divorce. The document itself may be as short or as detailed as both parties agree.

Common issues addressed in marital agreements include:

  • How assets will be divided, including homes, motor vehicles, and more
  • Financial account splitting
  • Retirement benefit allocation
  • Separation of debts
  • Alimony or spousal support expectations
  • Maintenance support payments
  • Payment of legal fees

Making Sure Your Prenup is Valid

Marital agreements are contracts. Therefore, the same laws that apply to contracts apply to prenups and postnups. However, some actions are not necessarily legally required but help validate marital agreements if there are disputes down the road.

You should have at least two witnesses present when you and your partner sign. Those witnesses must see you both sign and add your signatures to the documents as well.

One of your witnesses can be a notary public, an individual with legal training to validate signatures.

What Makes a Prenup Invalid?

If one spouse coerces another into a prenup, it may be invalid. Both parties must willingly agree. If there is any manipulation or imbalance of power, the court might also find the agreement invalid.

Both parties must also be of sound mind and body to enter into a contractual agreement. If either party is under drugs or alcohol, they cannot enter a valid contract. Similarly, if either party is mentally compromised, they cannot make a legally binding agreement.

A Lawyer Can Help With Your Marital Agreement

Entering into any contract is serious, especially one relating to your marriage. A prenup will bind you to certain rights and responsibilities, so before you sign or decide against it, you should consult a lawyer who can explain all the potential consequences.

Erb Legal can help with all of your Akron prenuptial agreement needs. Call us today at 330-249-1778 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.