Prenuptial Agreements and the Military
It’s a fact. Divorces in the military reached a new high in 2011. The strains of military deployment on a marriage are a unique and tragic casualty of war. Military lawyers do not help you with your divorce; you need a civilian attorney who understands what you might have to give up, how you can divide your assets in the most advantageous ways, and some of the other specialized issues associated with military divorce.
But some of this could be avoided. Maybe nearly all of it.
Perhaps this scene looks familiar: a young man and woman, 27 and 26 years old respectively. They have been married for 8 years and they are in love! They have a 3 year old child. He has a developing career in the Air Force. She gave up her job as a nurse to stay home with their baby. But while he is deployed, she gets lonely. An old friend pops up on Facebook. When our young man returns from active duty, he finds that his wife has already contacted an attorney and knows she is entitled to 50% of everything he’s accrued, possibly spousal support, definitely child support, 50% of all the marital assets, and….by the way, since he got a $50,000 inheritance from his grandmother, but he commingled the funds with her…she is getting half of that too!
He has done everything right. Loved his family, honored his country, saved his money, stayed out of debt, worked hard. And now…he is going to lose out.
But, if he had the conversation with his blushing bride before their marriage and gotten her in to sign a prenuptial agreement, this story would have been quite different. Although his wife would still be entitled, perhaps, to some of what she helped accrue during the marriage, and certainly child support if she gets custody of the child, perhaps he could have saved his inheritance, his pension, his benefits…
The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is not to shut the other party out of things they deserve or the things necessary to provide for children of the marriage. In fact, no prenuptial agreement can legally waive child support or toss aside the rights of your children for support and care. The purpose of the prenuptial agreement is protect both sides from losing things that they shouldn’t, and to make sure that both parties make clear, careful decisions about how assets should be distributed if they are no longer coming from a place of love and just consideration of the factors involved.
Men and women of the Armed Forces, or retired from the Armed Forces, it’s time you protect yourself the way you protect our country. We can compassionately, and carefully craft a prenuptial agreement without being unnecessarily adversarial to your future spouse. Call for a free consultation. 856-227-7888.