Alabama farmers might want to consider prenuptial agreement

Preparing for marriage is an exciting time in a couple’s journey through life. At times, however, issues involving personal assets, future inheritances or land ownership come into play, potentially changing adventure to stress if a couple is not careful. Farmers and ranchers preparing for marriage in Alabama might want to consider a recent trend that many landowners are following across the nation. Signing a prenuptial agreement, some say, provides a means of security and prevents potential worries for a soon-to-be married couple.

A recent article stressed the potential value of a prenup in the event that a future marriage becomes dissolved through separation, incapacitation or death. Laws differ by state; therefore, it is wise for a couple to consult a legal professional with experience in the execution of similar contracts in the state in which they reside. When a farm is involved, various issues affect whether it will be seen as a marital asset should the future union eventually dissolve.

A farm owner and psychologist who wrote a recent piece on the topic stated that whether a farm is treated as a marital asset depends partly upon whether farm debts have been paid from a joint account. If so, then even if one individual owned the farm coming into the marriage, the other spouse might have grounds to rightly claim half of it in the case of marital dissolution. The article also suggested that a carefully planned premarital contract can provide sufficient risk management for the future of a farm if it is a business enterprise.

Those who oppose the idea of a prenuptial agreement have said that such a contract tends to arouse suspicion between the future spouses, potentially placing a damper on an impending marriage. Most in Alabama would agree that every couple is unique and brings its own set of needs and issues to marriage plans. Therefore, it is typically beneficial to consult a legal professional for advice regarding whether a premarital contract might prove worthwhile.

Source: iowafarmertoday.com, “Do prenuptial agreements work?”, Dr. Mike Rosmann, Feb. 28, 2015

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