Premarital (Prenuptial) Agreement.
A Premarital Agreement establishes the financial and property division of each spouse in the event of a divorce. Obviously, most people are probably not thinking about a divorce when they get married. We recommend thinking about a prenup as a form of insurance (similar to life insurance). Remember, it only comes into play in the event of a divorce.
Prenups can protect the assets of each spouse that exist at the time they get married, along with the increase in value of these assets that grow during the life of the marriage. Prenups can protect the assets of either party, shield one party from the preexisting debts/obligations of the other, and it can also protect family businesses. In other words: what you put in, you take out.Here are some of the benefits of having a premarital agreement:
- Protect the assets of each party. Most people who get a premarital agreement prefer to keep their preexisting assets separate: whatever you came into the marriage with, you will take out.
- Protecting one party from becoming liable for the debts of the other. This is particularly useful when one party has debt prior to entering the marriage.
- Clarify financial rights and responsibilities during a marriage. For example, how much will each spouse will be expected to contribute towards martial expenses and household bills during the marriage. Will the parties combine their incomes or will each spouse keep their own separate bank accounts and have one joint bank account for marital expenses? Will you file joint or separate tax returns? How will you allocate deductions? How will you handle specific purchases or projects, such as buying a house or setting up a new business? As you can expect, circumstances and responsibilities can change during the marriage. Planning ahead is always wise.
- Keeping property within the family. If one party’s property includes something they want to keep within the family (for example, an heirloom, or a family business), then the parties can agree that it will remain within the family. The parties can even include property, which they expect to receive in an inheritance.
- Retirement accounts. What will happen to the money you have saved during the marriage? Without a prenup, this money is marital property, subject to division in a divorce proceeding.
- Avoid long, costly disputes in case of divorce. Divorces are extremely expensive and emotionally taxing on the entire family. Prenups can alleviate many of the commonly disputed issues in a divorce.
Child Support. A prenuptial agreement cannot decide child support obligations in the event of a divorce or separation. The right to child support belongs to the child(not the parents) and a child’s parents can’t contract or bargain that right away.
Custody of Children. Similarly, if a prenup contains provisions regarding custody or visitation, a court may choose to ignore those provisions based upon the current situation of the parents and the child(ren). In other words, child custody and visitation will be decided at the time the parents separate or divorce.
Hawaii has adopted the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), which contains general guidelines for making your prenuptial agreement enforceable. See Haw. Rev. Stat. Chapter 572D. Please contact us for a consultation. We can discuss your current situation and help you find the best option for you and your new family.
Postmarital (Postnuptial) Agreement.
A Postnuptial Agreement is the same thing as a prenup – except it is entered into after the parties are married.
Gestational Carrier (Surrogate) Agreements
A Gestational Carrier Agreement is a contract between intended parents and the surrogate who will be carrying the fetus to term. This service is offered through Caprice’s Fertility Connections Hawaii law firm. Please contact FCH for more information or visit the website.
We represent clients in consent adoptions through Caprice’s Fertility Connections Hawaii law firm. Please contact FCH for more information or visit the website.