Prenuptial Agreements for Gay Couples
Jun 3, 2015
The prenuptial agreement will replace in the L.G.B.T. community, once we have the law passed, the domestic partnership agreement. The domestic partnership agreement is something that’s commonly used now between parties of the same sex who are living together and we need something to set forth their respective rights and obligations upon death or break up of the relationship. A prenuptial agreement, if the parties decide to get married, would then set forth certain rights and obligations of each party. It would set forth terms upon what would happen to do with property and assets acquired during the marriage, as well as liabilities incurred during a marriage upon death or upon the divorce of the parties. The parties can also address what is deemed to be a marital asset, such as income.
So there’s a number of reasons why the parties, whether it’s a same sex couple or a heterosexual couple, would want to use a prenuptial agreement and that is primarily to protect their respective property. They may want to decide that they want to provide for family members, whether it’s children, brothers, sisters, other family members that they want certain assets to go to a person. They also may want the provisions for alimony set forth. For example, if you have one party to the marriage who is earning X number of dollars and the other party is relying on that party’s income for their primary means of support, what happens in the event they would divorce? You would put in provisions that set forth that there is going to be a specific amount of alimony paid depending upon the length of the marriage. That is something that is very common in prenuptial agreements we do for heterosexual couples.
So we may have a couple that’s married for five years and there’s a sum certain paid upon divorce as a fixed amount of alimony. We may have a situation where somebody is married for 20 years and we have a situation where there is a different amount paid. So there’s various schedules that will be included in the context of the agreement. What happens upon the death? What happens to the marital residence? Does one party get to stay in the home for a period of time if the home is owned jointly by the parties? So there is a number of factors as to why a prenuptial agreement is signed and why a prenuptial agreement is necessary in terms of protecting family members and the other party to agreement.
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