Strategic Family Attorney in Your Corner
Our St. Louis, MO family law attorneys draft prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements that are custom-tailored to each client’s unique personal circumstances.
Prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements each serve several important purposes. Whether you are engaged, married, or living with your partner, there are issues ranging from day-to-day life management to estate planning that you can – and should – address in writing in order to avoid unnecessary disagreements and uncertainty down the road. These agreements can serve not only to formalize the understanding between spouses (or spouses-to-be) and unmarried partners, but to protect family members and other loved ones as well.
At Raza & Jones, LLC, we work closely with our clients to prepare personalized agreements that protect their interests while providing clarity for the road ahead. Preparing a prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation agreement does not have to be (and in fact shouldn’t be) an uncomfortable or adversarial process. We will guide you through the process and help you make informed, confident decisions every step of the way.
Spouses-to-be regularly sign prenuptial agreements for a variety of different reasons. Perhaps one fiancé has children from a prior marriage and both parties agree that those children should retain certain property rights or assets. Or, maybe one fiancé has substantial property that he or she prefers not to become joint property once they say, “I do.”
Whatever your reason for considering a prenup, when you sit down with us to discuss the terms of your agreement, we will help you consider all of the different issues that fiancés commonly address in their prenups. These include things like:
- Identifying certain assets as separate property (such as heirlooms or an interest in a family business)
- Providing for children from prior marriages
- Shielding personal debts
- Tax and financial planning
- Clarifying responsibilities during the marriage, including who will be responsible for household bills, how much money the couple will set aside for savings, and how to make decisions on major purchases
- How to resolve your differences in the event of a major disagreement
Postnuptial & Cohabitation Agreements
A postnuptial agreement will generally serve the same purposes and be subject to the same legal principles as a prenuptial agreement – the only difference being that it is signed after you get married, not beforehand. Spouses enter into postnuptial agreements for a variety of different reasons, ranging from running out of time to sign a prenup to encountering new circumstances (for example, as the result of a substantial inheritance) that counsel in favor of putting an agreement in place.
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, we can help you thoroughly assess your situation and prepare an agreement that will serve you and your spouse for years to come.
A cohabitation agreement is a formal written agreement between partners who choose to live together without getting married. Similar to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements can cover a wide range of issues, including those listed above. However, since the laws that apply to married couples do not apply to unmarried cohabitants, cohabitation agreements frequently cover a number of additional topics as well.
Can My Spouse, Fiancé, or Partner and I Share an Attorney?
While it may be tempting to hire a single attorney to represent both you and your loved one during the preparation of your agreement, attorneys are prohibited from representing both spouses.
In addition, even if you and your loved one are on the same page, it is important that you each receive unbiased, confidential advice.
By working with separate attorneys, you can make sure that your agreement accurately reflects both of your interests without compromise. Hiring separate attorneys will also help ensure that your agreement will withstand scrutiny in court. At Raza & Jones, LLC we will work with you and your loved one’s attorney to make sure that preparing your agreement is an amicable and respectful process.
For more information about entering into a prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation agreement in Missouri, contact the St. Louis offices of Raza & Jones, LLC.