When in love and planning a future together, no one wants to consider the possibility of divorce. But divorce happens, and as a result, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement beforehand.
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a prenup or premarital agreement) is a legal contract that both the future husband and wife agree to in writing. The couple states their rights regarding premarital assets and how those should be handled in the event their marriage ends in divorce.
Requesting a premarital agreement can be a difficult subject to discuss. It looks as though one party doesn’t trust the other, or they don’t have confidence the marriage will last. However, a prenup helps both parties understand what to expect up front. Having the discussion well before the ceremony leads to honest communication.
Who Benefits From a Prenup?
Prenuptial agreements are generally a good idea for persons marrying later in life who have acquired assets or for anyone who’s acquired substantial assets before the ceremony. Both husband and wife benefit by prearranging the distribution of assets and avoiding expensive litigation during a divorce.
Why Would I Want a Prenup?
There are several reasons a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial:
Have you separately accumulated significant non-marital property before marriage and don’t want to lose those assets should a divorce occur?
If you’ve already gone through a difficult divorce and lost previous assets due to a contested settlement
You both have children from a previous marriage and want to protect their interests
Do you own inherited family property, heirlooms, etc. and wish to have those remain in your family?
Where To Begin
Because divorce laws are different in each state, find an attorney experienced in premarital agreements. It is worth noting that a common misconception is that a single attorney is allowed to draft such an agreement for both parties. To be enforceable, both parties will need to have their own counsel.
Protecting yourself and your separate assets isn’t greedy or self-centered. You’re choosing to be candid and straightforward about your expectations. Contact our law firm before you say, “I do.”