A prenuptial agreement is a prudent and legitimate way to protect the assets you bring to a marriage. If properly drafted, a prenuptial agreement will generally hold up in court and significantly reduce litigation in the event of a divorce.
However, there are many "land mines" to avoid. This is certainly not a do-it-yourself document, or for the lawyer who only dabbles in matrimonial law.
Akron attorney John M. Dohner has practiced in divorce and family law for 25-plus years, serving individuals and families in northeastern Ohio. He is certified by the Ohio Bar as a Family Relations Specialist and has taught CLE courses to other attorneys on the drafting of prenuptials.
A prenuptial agreement, also called a premarital or antenuptial agreement, declares how property will be divided if the marriage ends through divorce or death. Primarily, it identifies separate assets for the protection of the person who brings substantial wealth to the marriage when the other does not. It can also cover accumulation of wealth during marriage that otherwise would be split evenly under Ohio law. However, a prenup cannot be overreaching and leave the spouse with nothing.
A prenuptial agreement could protect a home you own, a business you built from the ground up, deferred compensation, or a parcel of land. No personal assets are off limits, but there is intensive documentation required to protect your assets.
It is important to bear in mind that premarital agreements:
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