Nonmarital agreements: prenuptial agreements without the marriage

Before tying the knot, more and more Connecticut couples are considering prenuptial agreements for asset protection. Prenuptial agreements are specifically for couples about to be married, but what about those who have been together for a long time and don't plan to get married, for some reason or another? How can they protect their wealth? There are legal documents available for these couples as well. They are often referred to as living together contracts or nonmarital agreements. Read on to find out how these contracts work.

When drafting a nonmarital agreement, a couple can include whatever details they feel are necessary. The document does not need to be in legal language; in fact, the more straightforward, the better. The document should, at a minimum, discuss property ownership issues. For example, the agreement should discuss how property acquired during the marriage is owned by both parties. Is it owned 50/50, or does one party have full ownership? Inheritances, gifts and items owned before the relationship began are usually considered personal property, so if a couple feels these items should be joint assets, then that should be outlined in the agreement.

There should also be clauses in the nonmarital agreement for separation or death. Although many couples don't want to talk about these situations, the relationship will eventually end, so it's best to talk about that reality now.

When both parties contribute financially to the relationship, it's always a good idea to have a plan in place should the relationship end. A contract can also outline details regarding expenses during the relationship. What happens to property acquired before or during the relationship? Who pays the bills? Is money pooled or kept in separate accounts? A nonmarital agreement can ensure both parties are on the same page.

Contact us at BRODER & ORLAND LLC if you are interested in having a nonmarital agreement.