Protect Your Beloved Pets with Prenuptial Agreements
One day, Alice is walking her dog, when she meets a handsome man named Bob, and they strike up a conversation. A year later, Alice and Bob get married, and they move into a new house with a big yard where the dog can run around and play fetch. Two years later, they get divorced. In the divorce agreement, Alice gets to keep their house after paying Bob a lump sum, but the court rules that Bob gets to keep the dog. Isn’t it unfair that the court would award the dog to Bob when he was Alice’s dog before the marriage and lived with her since he was a puppy? You can prevent problems like this by signing a prenuptial agreement.
Yes, There Are Prenups for Pets
Prenuptial agreements can specify how a couple’s property will be divided in a divorce. They can limit the amount of alimony one spouse pays to the other. They can also indicate that a particular asset or item of property that belonged to one spouse before the marriage will remain the sole property of that spouse and will not be divided in a divorce. That item of property can even be an animal. Although money is the last thing you think about in relation to your pet, the court applies the same rules to a dog or cat as it would to a house or boat.
If you both you and your ex want to keep the pet, and you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, the court will have to decide. It will base its decision on the animal’s best interest and on each spouse’s ability to pay for it.
You might think of your pet as your baby, but while pets are fair game in prenuptial agreements, children are not. The court does not acknowledge any clause in a prenuptial agreement regarding child custody or child support. Tennessee family courts decide matters of child support and child custody independently of division of property.
Prenuptial Agreements Are Not Just for Rich People and Celebrities
You might think that it is not worthwhile to sign a prenuptial agreement unless you are very wealthy, but even people of modest means can save themselves a lot of conflict by signing a prenup. An increasing number of young adults carry a heavy burden of student debt; some cite it as a reason they hesitate to marry. You can use a prenuptial agreement to protect your spouse from your student debt, by specifying hat your spouse will never be responsible for the debt if you divorce.
Let Us Help You Today
A prenuptial agreement might help you and your fiancé resolve financial conflicts before you marry. A Knoxville prenuptial agreement lawyer can help answer your questions about marriage and finances, including about what to include in a prenuptial agreement. Contact Patrick L. Looper in Knoxville, Tennessee for a consultation.