Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Chattanooga Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers 

Work with Experienced Prenup/Postnup Lawyers Near You

The divorce process can be difficult and the way in which a couple ends up dividing their assets can be contentious. Some couples try to work these potentially thorny issues out in advance. The legal mechanisms for doing so are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, also known as “prenups” and postnups."

There is little difference between the two, save for timing. A prenuptial agreement is drafted and signed before the wedding; a postnuptial agreement is drafted after the wedding and signed during the marriage. Both agreements are governed under standard Tennessee contract law, and both are conditional on something that may or may not happen—namely, the end of the marriage.

Need a Chattanooga prenuptial agreement lawyer? Call us today at (423) 427-4944 or contact us online.

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Common Parts of a Marital Agreement

To best understand what goes into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it’s best to look at how the Tennessee divorce process functions for couples who don’t have one of these plans in place. At the end of a marriage, the couple can agree on how to divide their assets. If they fail to reach an agreement, a judge will decide for them, under the guidelines established by the state of Tennessee. The prenup or postnup is aimed at settling as much as possible upfront. 

One subject that cannot be settled upfront is that of child custody. This applies not only to couples signing a prenup, but married people who already have children. The couple may still work out their own arrangements on custody and child support after the divorce has been filed, but not before.

However, there is still plenty that can be included in a marital agreement, including:

  • Defining Property: The definition of property covers an exceptionally wide range of subjects. Couples that cohabitate might have bought a house prior to the marriage. The house appreciated in value after the marriage. Is it separate or marital? That’s going to depend on several factors, from determining if one couple put more toward the purchase of the house or if improvements were done with common funds after the marriage. This requires a lot of documentation and an attorney who knows how to examine this issue, and many others like it, with a legal fine-tooth comb to get all the necessary details. 
  • Inheritance Rights: Many marriages see both spouses bring their own children to form one family together. Now that the family is splitting up, what happens to the inheritance rights of those kids? For example, perhaps one spouse was exceptionally wealthy, and their one child was the heir. That spouse may be interested in protecting their child’s inheritance rights in the event of a split. And, more broadly speaking, you can use a marital agreement to protect any estate plans in place from being altered by your spouse.
  • Family Property: There may be a house that’s been in your family for generations or valuable heirlooms that you have inherited. A marital agreement can specify that these things stay with you. Your spouse will need to have that made up in some other part of the agreement, but you can ensure that assets important and unique to your family stay with your family.
  • Debt: Perhaps your spouse tried an entrepreneurial venture prior to you knowing them. It didn’t work out and there is still considerable debt left behind. You're happy to help pay it off in a marriage, but not if you end up divorced. The prenup might address that. Or, a married couple might put the same terms in a postnup if one spouse wants to try a business or investment that the other is skeptical of. 
  • Spousal Support: Also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, this allows the spouse who is financially disadvantaged by the divorce to at least have enough money to maintain the lifestyle that was enjoyed during the marriage. The couple can choose to put terms into a marital agreement. 

Keep in mind that a court can overrule a spousal maintenance plan that seems unfair or punitive. Let’s say a couple who signed a prenup has since been married for 15 years and has seen their net worth drastically increase in that time. The support plan almost certainly did not factor this increase in their style of living and may be ruled unfair. You also cannot have your right to support taken away in a prenup or postnup. Even if you sign it away, a court will likely strike it down. 

Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

Entering into a prenuptial agreement can provide couples with peace of mind and financial protection in the event of a divorce. Our experienced prenup attorneys at Horton, Ballard & Pemerton PLLC can help you understand the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement in place:

  • Protecting assets brought into the marriage
  • Clarifying financial responsibilities during the marriage
  • Avoiding lengthy and costly legal battles in case of divorce
  • Preserving family inheritance and business interests
  • Promoting open communication and transparency in the relationship

Our prenup lawyers near you in Chattanooga, TN can guide you through the process of creating a prenuptial agreement that meets your needs and protects your interests. today to learn more about how a prenup can benefit you and your partner.


Our Chattanooga Prenuptial & Postnuptial Attorneys Can Help

Marriages are complex and that means marital agreements—whether they be prenuptial or postnuptial—must be complex and nuanced as well. 

A postnup/prenup attorney can help you. Whether you’re approaching the wedding date or want to work things out after the marriage, we are there to bring our experience to bear. 

Horton, Ballard & Pemerton has been working for decades with people in your situation, who want to bring some modicum of certainty to this very uncertain world. We know what you should include in your marital agreement, and we know what questions to ask so assets don’t go overlooked. 

Secure Your Future with a Chattanooga Prenup Lawyer. Call us today at (423) 427-4944 or contact us online for a consultation. 

North Carolina Prenup & Postnup FAQ

Is spousal support always enforceable in a prenuptial agreement?

Spousal support outlined in a prenuptial agreement may be subject to court review, especially if circumstances change significantly over the course of the marriage, potentially rendering the support plan unfair or unenforceable.

Can a prenuptial agreement address family property and heirlooms?

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can specify how family property and heirlooms will be handled in the event of a divorce, ensuring that assets important and unique to your family remain with your family.

Are child custody arrangements typically included in prenuptial agreements?

Child custody arrangements cannot be settled upfront in a prenuptial agreement, as they are determined based on the best interests of the child at the time of divorce, regardless of any prior agreements between the spouses.

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