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Prenuptial Agreements

What Issues Can a Prenuptial Agreement Cover in Ohio?

No one likes to think about divorce, particularly at the beginning of a marriage. However, prenuptial agreements can be very beneficial to both parties involved. A “prenup” is a contract between soon-to-be-married individuals that sets specific rules for dividing wealth and property. Although historically, prenups have a reputation for protecting one’s wealth from a “weaker” spouse, today, they can be used to secure finances for other family members and to simplify divorce proceedings. Learning about the benefits of a prenup, and discussing them with your fiancé, can set realistic expectations about finances in your marriage.

Who Should Get A Prenup?

A wide range of individuals should consider a prenup before getting married to ensure that property acquired during a lifetime can remain secure if the marriage ends badly. This includes those who have children from a previous marriage (to protect the children’s inheritance), business owners (to keep control over their company), the elderly, high-net-worth individuals, and other individuals.

What Does A Prenup Cover?

When two people get divorced, they sign a separation agreement that dictates the important elements of their breakup. These separation agreements contain instructions about property division, child-rearing, and spousal support. If the couple cannot agree on these issues, the courts must intervene and decide the best outcome for all parties involved. A prenup sets out all of these issues in advance. Virtually anything important to the couple (other than children’s issues) can be put into the prenup.

Assets And Debts

The most obvious place to start is the division of separate or marital property. Items like the house, the cars, the furniture, and important family heirlooms can all be retained or freely traded based on what the prenup says. Assets like bank accounts, stocks, and retirement plans can also be agreed upon. Additionally, the accumulated debt of one spouse can be made so as not to affect the other.

The Management Of A Business

A prenup can be helpful in the future management of a business as well. In Ohio marriage law, the business may be considered marital property, and ownership of it may pass to the spouse in the event of sudden death. This could be unfortunate if a son or daughter were intended to take control. Instead, a prenup can set a precedent in situations like this so that the intended benefactor is not passed over in favor of a spouse.

Alimony Agreements

Questions about alimony can be agreed upon in a prenup before the marriage even begins. This can be beneficial to both spouses. In a scenario where one spouse has an income, and the other doesn’t, the no-income spouse can be assured that they will remain cared for in the event of a divorce. Similarly, when alimony is accepted as an element of divorce, the providing spouse can be assured that only an agreed-upon amount is paid. There are types of alimony in which payments can increase later if the no-income spouse faces hardships. An alimony agreement in the prenup protects both parties.

The Right To Receive Death Benefits, And Any Other Issues.

Like with the business scenario above, an individual’s death benefits may be intended for a child instead of a spouse. A prenup can solidify the beneficiaries of pensions, retirement plans, and life insurance policies. Without a prenup, a particularly aggrieved spouse could attempt to take control of these assets despite the deceased’s wishes. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can enforce any other issue the couple deems important at the time of the marriage.

Can A Prenup Cover Child Custody And Support?

A prenup can cover a few basic child-rearing agreements, but overall it is not intended to be used for child custody or support. This is because the Ohio court must make an agreement in the child’s best interest at the time of the divorce.


A prenup can be beneficial to both parties in a number of different ways. Before you tie the knot, talk to the legal experts at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC. Call today at (513) 863-6600.

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