Frantz Ward facilitates sensitive discussions between engaged parties to define their rights should the marriage end by divorce or death. We collaborate with our clients to create tailored prenuptial agreements that fit their specific needs, which can range from the simple to the complex, in order to protect premarital assets, family wealth, business interests, inheritance, real estate, and more. While most prenuptial agreements protect assets, these contracts (executed before the marriage) can create an arrangement for debt protection; avoid arguments in the event of divorce; and address a wide range of other concerns.
Protection of Premarital Assets and Debts.
While separate property (as defined by Ohio law) includes premarital assets and liabilities, a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool to define that property at the onset of marriage to prevent any future disputes, tracing, or comingling issues. Without a prenuptial agreement, the burden rests with the owner of separate property to prove the claim, which can be difficult, if not impossible, after a long marriage. Frantz Ward helps clients circumvent this issue by clearly defining premarital and separate property claims with financial statements incorporated into the agreement.
Preservation of Business Ownership and Future Growth.
In divorce, the most devastating impact usually entails the buyout of a spouse’s equal interest in a business entity regardless of whether that spouse holds title. Frantz Ward assists business owners in excluding the business and its growth, appreciation, and equity from becoming a marital asset. Our expertise and vigilant drafting protect the business entity, owner, and other partners and investors from suffering a costly loss resulting from a divorce buyout, especially if the business lacks assets, cash, or lending capabilities to effectuate that buyout.
Conservation of Family Wealth, Inheritance, and Gifts.
Families traditionally desire to structure succession planning to provide for direct descendants and bloodline only. Prenuptial agreements enable families to ensure the lineage of family wealth, including real estate, even in the event of divorce. Frantz Ward drafts upfront agreements to secure family intentions regardless of the inheritance or gifts being in the present or future.
Allocation of Future Income and Savings.
In Ohio, all assets, liabilities, and income accumulated by either party during the marriage, regardless of title, constitutes marital property that is subject to division in divorce. A prenuptial agreement allows the parties to contract around the law to effectuate their desired intentions. If parties wish to bank and maintain separate finances during the marriage and thereafter, a prenuptial agreement will achieve that result.