Rhode Island Prenuptial Agreement
Premarital agreements are more common among couples than ever before. What people viewed as a recipe for divorce is now a formidable reference point for couples when splitting property. Not only that, but prenups also help couples define their financial obligations and roles while the marriage is intact.
Different states follow a set of protocols for administering premarital agreements. For instance, in Rhode Island, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act outlines how to execute prenups. Read on for more about a prenuptial contract in Rhode Island.
What Issues Can a Prenup Address in Rhode Island?
When creating a prenup, both parties can specify what they want to include in the contract. Essentially, the provisions should be lawful and acceptable for both parties.
Here’s what a prenup may address:
- The rights of spouses to marital and separate property
- Splitting of marital property after death or divorce
- Whether a spouse will receive alimony after divorce
- The rights of spouses to control and manage the marital property
- How to safeguard business and financial assets
- How to secure an inheritance for children born from past marriages
What Constitutes a Valid Prenup in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has stringent statutes that make it hard to invalidate an adequately drafted premarital contract. Besides the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act, Rhodes Island has domestic relations under the General Laws Code. Sections 15-17, Title 15, outline the qualities of a valid prenup.
Under section 15-17-2, your contract should be in writing, with accompanying signatures from you and your spouse. The courts may void a verbal agreement when you are divorcing.
A prenup in Rhode Island should be voluntary, without evidence of coercion, intimidation, or deceit from either spouse. So, before you sign the document, have sufficient time to review the contract and understand it. The best strategy is to prepare the document before your official union.
Like in other states, Rhode Island upholds high standards of fairness when executing prenups. The agreement should yield a fair outcome for both parties without overriding the right to spousal support or justice. For example, if your spouse insists on staying at home to watch over the children, you should provide financial support to help raise the children.
A prenup's validity is subject to full disclosure of assets and financial obligations from spouses. If you don't wish to disclose financial commitments, you should have a waiver of your rights to disclose the property.
Benefits of Rhode Island Prenuptial Agreement
If you are contemplating a second marriage, you may want to retain some assets for your children. So, as you move to the new union, a prenup will help secure what rightfully belongs to the children you are bringing into the new marriage.
A Rhode Island prenup also comes in handy to outline marital and separate property during a divorce. Without a will, the Rhodes Island courts will follow the principle of equitable distribution of assets and liabilities when divorcing.
Estate planning is yet another benefit of premarital agreements in Rhode Island. If you have more real estate than your spouse, including an estate plan in your contract would be helpful. The plan ensures your new spouse will not automatically acquire your estate if it forms part of separate property.
A prenup is also an essential money-saving tool during a divorce. Without a doubt, court litigation and divorce proceedings may attract substantial legal costs in attorneys’ fees. A premarital agreement saves you the cost by specifying the contentious issues that the court should address in a divorce. Thus, you can save the extra costs for other meaningful expenses.
Do you qualify for a prenuptial agreement in Rhode Island? Download a free printable form here.