Can A Prenup Protect You From Spouse's Debt? | Julie Fowler Law Office

While signing a prenup may not seem like the most romantic idea before getting hitched, it may help save you if the relationship goes sour. If your spouse poorly manages assets and debts, a prenup may help protect you if you and your spouse split.

A prenuptial agreement is entered into by the spouses before the marriage.  It gives the spouses a chance to disclose their assets and debts prior to the marriage and reach an agreement as to some of the financial issues in case the marriage ends in divorce.  They can be used to set forth an agreement of each spouse’s understanding of the financial expectations in the marriage and allow the parties to clarify what is pre-marital property.

How Can A Prenup Protect You From Spouse’s Debt?

When you co-sign or enter into debt as a joint creditor, the creditor can pursue you as the joint debtor.  A prenuptial agreement can’t protect you from the creditor if you don’t pay the creditor as agreed.  However, if your spouse has debt in their own name from prior to the marriage, setting forth in the prenup that the debt was known as a premarital debt can help protect you from responsibility for the debt in the divorce.  Further, if one spouse has a small business, the prenup can help protect you from the debt in the business’s name.

Keep in mind that if the family has children, the divorce will address child support but the spouses can’t include an agreement as to the amount of child support in the prenup.

Is a Prenup Worth It?

If you want the Court to enforce the prenup if there is a divorce, each spouse should have their own attorney to represent them in the creation of the prenuptial agreement.  Especially if you have significant assets prior to the marriage or children from a prior relationship, the time and money spent to create a prenup may be well worth it.  Also, if you are entering a marriage with a spouse that already has some significant debts, you may want to spend the money now to protect yourself later.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.