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Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Do you need a prenuptial agreement? To determine the answer to that question, you should first understand what it is.  A prenuptial agreement is a written contract entered into by couples before a marriage. It provides a disposition of assets and obligations in the event of a divorce.  To obtain one in Tennessee, each party must make full disclosure of assets and liabilities. Each must also have time to review the agreement and consult with an attorney prior to the wedding.


If you are getting married and one of the following apples to either of you, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement:

  • If you want to preserve some of your assets for a child of a prior relationship
  • When either party…
    • owns a business or is in a business partnership
    • is in line for an inheritance or has specific estate planning goals that include someone other than a spouse
  • If one of you…
    • is considerably more wealthy than the other
    • has much more debt than the other
    • may pursue an advanced degree during the marriage
    • owns real estate prior to marriage

Talking about these issues is not exactly romantic. It can even sometimes cause bad feelings between the parties and their families.

Nonetheless, a prenuptial agreement allows you to designate what is separate and what is marital property. It also assigns debt and validates your estate planning. You cannot contract for child custody or support. However, you can specify how you would like your assets and debts to be divided in the event of a divorce. That can help you avoid a potential future legal battle. You can also address the issue of alimony or spousal support. But, the resulting agreement cannot leave one spouse as a potential ward of the state. Therefore, the terms should address the amount and duration of the spousal support.


There are some common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure a prenuptial agreement is enforceable. For example, you should never present the contract to your partner on the condition that the wedding will not take place unless it is signed. Additionally, never present it too close to your wedding day. If one party is coerced into signing or there is evidence of duress, a prenuptial agreement may not be enforced.  Another common problem is a partner’s failure to disclose financial assets and liabilities.

The best way to achieve a legally enforceable prenuptial agreement is to hire an experienced attorney to draft the agreement and provide ample time for the other party to review the agreement with another attorney. If you need assistance with drafting a prenuptial agreement, call Held Law Firm today at (865) 685-4780.

The information in this blog was compiled and written by Melanie Hogg and is accurate as of the time of publication, but laws often change. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who keeps up with these changes. Contact us today.