Unromantic as it may sound, a prenuptial agreement is something that should come up before you tie the knot. It brings up a vital topic of discussion that can help avoid all the bitterness later on in life. It isn’t meant just for the rich; it is actually useful no matter what your financial situation. A Prenuptial Agreement legally binds the couple to a set financial plan in case of a divorce. It saves everyone from a prolonged messy situation.
We talked to experts in the subject matter to explain why you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement.
“No legal document can offer a person the protection they want as that of a ‘prenuptial agreement’ whether extremely wealthy or only middle class. The request of a partner to become a signatory to a contractual document that spells out the terms and obligations of the parties should the marriage dissolve is often seen as an unromantic sentiment, but it works as intended;
“A prenuptial agreement is a smart way to clarify what happens should a marriage fail. The reason why a prenuptial agreement is so important is because property brought into marriage very often becomes co-mingled and it is not always clear after many years together what is separate property and what is communal property.
“A prenuptial agreement is a great legal tool for clarifying these issues and expresses the mechanics for how property is to be distributed should a marriage end in divorce. Anyone with significant assets that are thinking about getting married without a prenuptial agreement would be taking a significant risk.” (David Reischer)
“Another reason to get a prenuptial agreement is if one party owns more assets, earns more income or has a business partner that would be affected in the event there is a divorce. A prenuptial agreement would prevent an inequitable split of assets that unfairly leads to unjust enrichment and has consequences that unfairly affects third parties.” (David Reischer)
“A prenuptial agreement may be able to protect one spouse from the other spouse’s debt. State laws will vary on the ability of creditors to attach onto debtor assets if there is a prenuptial agreement. Oftentimes a prenuptial agreement provides an extra layer of defense to protect certain assets from creditors.”
David Reischer, Esq. Family Lawyer & CEO of LegalAdvice.com
4. Business Owners Risks
“Both my husband and I are business owners and are subsequently exposed to the risk of bankruptcy, particularly due to business factors. As a result, my husband and I agreed that a prenuptial agreement would safeguard us both against any risk that our business endeavours pose.”
Mollie Newton, Editor & Founder PetMeTwice
5. Peaceful Divorces Without Prolonging Monetary Battles
“As a marriage and family therapist, I see the most peaceful divorces happen when there is a prenup. The extended conflict over money just prolongs the emotional pain that caused you to want the divorce in the first place. Plus, it is significantly worse for your kids. Divorce is difficult enough for kids.
“If you can prevent the added trauma of a high conflict divorce by working through some things in advance, it makes for a much healthier situation for you, your ex, and your kids. The best thing for everyone involved is to be able to start grieving and rebuilding as soon as possible and a prenup allows that to happen by cutting out the conflict and anger that precedes that process.”
Laura Goldstein, LCMFT, is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and Founder of Montgomery County Counseling Center, LLC
6. Protect Individual Interests
“A prenup, or prenuptial agreement, can be important for couples who want to protect their individual interests or if one person in the couple has more assets or power than the other. For example, if you’re coming into the marriage owning a business or real estate and your partner owns very little, you may want to get a prenup to protect those assets from being divided in a future divorce.
“A prenup is also a good idea if you’re in a disadvantaged situation in the marriage. For example, if you decide as a couple that you’ll be a stay-at-home mom or housewife, you may want to create a prenup that entitles you to a share of the estate in the event of an early divorce. By doing so, you’ll protect yourself from potentially being left with little to no retirement, savings, or a home.
“Many people assume that all divorces result in a 50/50 division of the family assets, but this isn’t always true. Depending on what state you live in, you may not receive any assets from your spouse if you divorce within five years of getting married.”
Attorney Stefanie Trinkl, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin area attorney focused on estate planning.
7. Promotes Financial Transparency
“Having a prenuptial agreement promotes financial transparency. By creating a prenuptial agreement, you and your partner can discuss various financial issues that most married couples avoid, such as how much money they actually earn, who gets to manage all their funds, or even spending habits and debts of each other. When you are transparent with your finances, you can limit issues in your marriage, which can help strengthen your relationship.”
Dave Herman, President at EZ Surety Bonds