Prenuptial Agreement for Domestic Partnership: What You Need to Know
Entering into a domestic partnership is a big step, and one that carries with it unique legal considerations. While many people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement for married couples, fewer are aware of the option for domestic partners. However, a prenuptial agreement can be just as valuable for domestic partners as for spouses.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, is a legal contract entered into by two parties before they get married. The agreement outlines how assets and debts will be divided in the event of divorce or separation. It can also include provisions for spousal support, inheritance, and other matters.
Why Have a Prenuptial Agreement for a Domestic Partnership?
A prenuptial agreement can be especially important for domestic partners, as they may not have the same legal protections as married couples. While some states offer domestic partnership registration, this doesn’t necessarily provide the same benefits as marriage.
A prenuptial agreement can help clarify each partner’s financial responsibilities and expectations. It can also provide protection in the event of a breakup or dissolution of the partnership. Without a prenuptial agreement, assets and debts may be subject to division based on state laws, which may not reflect the wishes and intentions of the partners.
What Should Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement for Domestic Partners?
The specifics of a prenuptial agreement for domestic partners will depend on the individual circumstances of the partners. In general, however, the following items should be considered:
1. Division of property: This includes assets acquired during the partnership, as well as existing assets and debts. It’s important to be clear about what property each partner brings to the partnership, and how it will be divided if the partnership dissolves.
2. Spousal support: Depending on the length of the partnership, one partner may be entitled to support from the other. A prenuptial agreement can outline the terms of this support, including duration and amount.
3. Inheritance: If one partner has children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that their inheritance rights are protected.
4. Other considerations: Depending on the circumstances, a prenuptial agreement may also include provisions for things like division of retirement accounts, life insurance, and business interests.
How to Create a Prenuptial Agreement for Domestic Partners
Creating a prenuptial agreement for domestic partners is similar to creating one for spouses. The first step is to consult with an attorney who has experience in this area. The attorney can help guide the partners through the process of creating the agreement, and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
Once the agreement is drafted, it should be reviewed and signed by both partners, as well as a notary public. It’s important to keep a copy of the agreement in a safe place, and to update it as circumstances change.
While entering into a domestic partnership can be exciting, it’s important to remember that it also carries legal implications. A prenuptial agreement can help protect each partner’s interests, and ensure that the partnership is built on a solid foundation. By working with an experienced attorney, domestic partners can create an agreement that meets their unique needs and circumstances.