All too often prenuptial agreements get a bad rap. Many people consider it to be a document whose sole purpose is to prepare a marriage for failure, particularly in instances when one spouse has significantly greater income or assets than the other.
This is simply not true.
Prenuptial agreements, better known as prenups, carry numerous benefits for couples of all backgrounds, degrees of trust in one another, and levels of wealth. In this blog we have detailed eight important reasons why a prenup can benefit any and all marrying couples.
Please keep in mind that, as always, this blog is not intended as legal advice for your unique circumstances. Every relationship is different, which means prenuptial needs will vary from couple to couple as well. If you’d like to get the conversation started about signing a prenuptial agreement for your marriage, please contact the law office of Duncan Legal P.C. today.
1) Previous marriage
Betrothed couples who have had a previous marriage should certainly consider signing a prenuptial agreement, especially if they have children from another marriage. A clearly defined prenuptial agreement will help avoid legal battles involving non-biologically related children in the future. There may be specific assets that you want to ensure go to your children from a past marriage, rather than having a court decide who gets it.
If one member of the couple owns a business, particularly a partnership with other owners, it is wise and oftentimes necessary to define the new spouse’s interests in the company, if any. Your partners may not want an unknown such as your soon-to-be-husband or wife to have any right to ownership of the company they have worked to build. All business owners who are getting married should consider a prenup.
3) Address financial expectations
Signing a prenup is much more than making decisions on how assets will be divided if a divorce occurs. It gives a marrying couple an opportunity to have clear, honest conversations with one another about how they will handle finances in their marriage. This type of upfront communication that effectively sets reasonable expectations is vital to any successful marital relationship.
4) Address debt
More and more people, both young and old are incurring large amounts of debt from things like student loans, mortgages, etc. When you get married, not every couple will agree that burden of debts incurred by one spouse prior to the marriage should be shouldered by both after the union. With a prenup you could define spousal responsibility for previously existing debts. For example, your prenup could state that only the income of the spouse with student loan debt will be used to pay that debt. It has become increasingly important for couples to define how they will handle debt during their marriage.
5) Address non-financial expectations
Prenups are not only for defining your expectations with regard to finances. For example, you may want to put in writing that you will raise your children with a particular religion. There is a nearly limitless number of items that it is both healthy and useful for couples to address and define in a prenup prior to tying the knot.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of prenuptial agreements, or if you are interested in actually signing one, please contact the law office of Carolyn Moller Duncan today!