Contrary to what most people believe, prenuptial agreements could lead to stronger marriages and prevent disastrous divorces. Typically, money and communication are two of the most significant reasons why most couples get divorced. A prenup addresses both issues right before the marriage, which could prevent a divorce.
It’s understandable if you’re considering whether it would be a good idea to get a prenup. About 62% of people agree that a prenuptial agreement sends negative signals to the other person, and 63% of people believe that their marriage would be at a higher risk of divorce if their partner asked to get a prenup.
The thing is, a lot of people think that prenuptial agreements are all about wealth and that their partner doesn’t trust them enough if they ask for one. Some believe that their partner doesn’t believe in their love if they can already anticipate a divorce. However, in reality, marital waters can get very murky, and if you do it right, your partner can take a prenup for what it really is.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about a prenup.
What Exactly Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement, better known as a prenup, is a legally written, and binding contract. It’s a document whereby engaged couples looking to get married state their rights and responsibilities regarding their premarital and marital assets and debts. The document outlines what would happen to said assets and debts in the event of a divorce or death.
Technically, without a prenuptial agreement, the state would have to decide what would happen to those assets and debts. A prenup covers a wide array of things depending on each couple and their financial situation. It could cover property, joint bank accounts, debts such as student loans, children from past relationships, family businesses, and other household expenses.
However, a prenup can’t cover custody decisions or child support matters. One important aspect to note before you get a prenup is that it may or may not last a lifetime. You see, you could stipulate that the prenup can expire after a given time or that if you don’t stay married for a certain amount of time, you won’t get any spousal support.
Should I Get a Prenup?
There are so many reasons why a person would decide to get a prenup, but you need to go about it the right way to avoid hurting your partner. One of the best parts about discussing a prenup is that it forces you to communicate your financial status and goals with your spouse. You get to understand each other’s general attitude towards money, your spending and saving habits, as well as any accrued debts.
Given that money is one of the major reasons for divorce, having such a discussion before you get married can reinforce your relationship. It can help you build a stronger foundation for your union.
One of the biggest advantages of investing in a prenup is that it eliminates the chances of a costly and contentious divorce process. Even though you may not feel like you’ll ever get a divorce, the reality is that life changes, and when push comes to shove, you will be well prepared.
A Prenuptial vs. a Postnuptial
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, with the only difference being that it occurs after the wedding. It’s as enforceable as a prenup, and if you’re thinking it would be a better option, it’s essential that you talk to a postnuptial agreement lawyer.
You see, you may not need a prenup, but after getting married, there could be an inheritance or the sale of a family business that would need to be addressed.
Top Reasons You Would Need to Get a Prenup
If you feel that you have a justifiable circumstance to get a prenup, then you should go ahead and do it. What is a justifiable circumstance? Let’s look at an in-depth view of some reasons to get a prenuptial agreement.
One or Both of You Were Married in the Past
If you or your partner were married before, you might not be very optimistic about going through another divorce, especially if it was extended or bitter. You may not want to get into another marriage without knowing the intricacies of your financial future. This is especially true for a person who felt cheated by the ex-partner and is looking to get a better deal before they get into another marriage.
One or Both of You Have Children From Previous Relationships
If you or your partner have a child or children from past relationships, it’s a given that you’ll want to protect their financial interest. A prenuptial agreement will ensure that your assets remain separate, and you’ll be able to create a living trust or even a will for your children in the event of your demise. In this situation, it’s important to get a prenup lawyer in order to draft the right agreement to prevent any fights of a will when the parent passes away.
If One of You Is Wealthier
Most of the time, prenuptial agreements come into play when one person is wealthier than the other. If there’s a disparity in wealth a prenup agreement will help to avoid avoid having an unfair property division.
In the absence of a prenup, the person marrying into money will get equal rights to your wealth, and you’ll have to offer significant spousal support. Some people also believe that getting a prenup assures that the partner is not marrying them for money.
However, it’s possible that the other party could also become wealthy during the marriage, and the agreement will protect them as well, so it’s not necessarily a negative.
One Person Has More Debt
A lot of people don’t consider the fact that a prenup would also protect them from debt. According to research, about 27% of millennials keep at least one financial secret from their partner, which is usually a significant debt. Spouses who incur premarital debts are responsible for clearing them, but any debt incurred during the marriage will be allocated to both spouses in the event of a divorce.
This places one partner at a disadvantage because they will have to pay for funds they did not use. It can especially be a bad thing if one party has bad spending habits while the other does not. A premarital agreement can ensure that unfair disbursement of debt is avoided in the event of a divorce.
The prenuptial agreement also assures that no premarital debts are paid from the joint properties of the marriage during a divorce. It’ll also ensure that the business debts of one spouse are not paid through joint funds. If you don’t get a prenup, there’s a possibility that creditors will collect premarital debts from joint assets you acquire in your marriage.
If One or Both of You Own Businesses
If you currently own a business, it would make sense to get a prenup because divorces tend to destroy family businesses. It’s more important if you have a joint business with other family members or other people.
Their share of the business will be impacted if you get a divorce. A prenup will give you full discretion on how you can manage your business during and after marriage.
If by any chance, a business increases in value during a marriage, the other spouse may want to acquire shares and interest. If you want to prevent this and keep your business intact, even after a divorce, it’s important that you get a prenup.
One Of You Keeps Their Life Private
Some people like to lead private lives, and they have the right to privacy, which is recognized in a prenup. On a prenuptial agreement, you can agree that without written consent, the other party can’t disclose, publish, or document information to other individuals or entities. You can avoid social media exposure and agree to have disagreements settled through arbitration to avoid the public eye.
You or Both of You Have Inheritance to Protect
Future inheritance and generational wealth are two of the most significant reasons people get a prenup. If you were to receive an inheritance, it would be non-marital property unless, of course, you do something that makes it so. Some of those things would be putting the inheritance in a joint account or buying property and putting it in both names.
A prenup would be one of the best ways to prevent unintentional inheritance transmutation. You can also ensure you keep your inheritance in your own account.
One Partner Intends to Be a Stay At Home Parent
If one spouse plans to be a stay-at-home parent, a prenup will ensure that they get fair treatment in the case of a divorce. The stay-at-home spouse will forego work and stop their career advancements. This places them at a disadvantage.
Most couples compensate for this by providing a sufficient income stream or property if they can afford to. A prenup can negotiate terms for them, such as mandatory monthly contributions. They could also offer annual contributions to an IRA, anniversary gifts, and the like after a divorce.
How to Get a Prenup: Top Reasons for You to Get a Prenup
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should get a prenup. If your circumstances fall within any of these reasons, you should talk to your future spouse about it well beforehand. Make sure you go through the prenup process about a month prior to the wedding date and get the best prenup attorney in your area to handle the matter for you.
Head over to a search engine and type in the best prenup attorney near me, and you’ll be able to find one that will handle your case. Beyond that, if you’d like more informative content, please check out our blog section today.