You’ve found your perfect match and are ready to commit to forever. But before you walk down the aisle, have you considered whether you need a prenuptial agreement?
It may not sound very romantic, but a prenup can help ensure you and your sweetheart start your new life together with the same financial expectations and understanding.
Prenups get a bad rap as being unromantic, but they’re really about protecting both you and your partner. They lay out things like how assets will be divided if you divorce, clarifying financial responsibilities during marriage, and ensuring you’re both on the same page about money matters from the beginning.
You never think divorce will happen to you, until it does
If done right, a prenup can give you peace of mind and help avoid arguments over finances down the road. While a prenup may not seem like a priority now, it’s worth discussing before you officially tie the knot. You never think divorce will happen to you, until it does. A prenuptial agreement is like an insurance policy you hope you’ll never need to use. But if you do, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to get one.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legal contract you sign before getting married. It allows you and your partner to specify how assets and finances will be divided if you divorce.
Why consider a prenup?
There are a few reasons a prenup may be smart:
- You have significant assets you want to protect. If you own a home, investments, or a business, a prenup helps ensure those stay in your control if the marriage ends.
- You have children from a previous relationship. A prenup can specify that certain assets will go to your children or be held in trust for them.
- You have large amounts of debt. With a prenup, you can avoid saddling your partner with responsibility for your debt if you divorce.
- You want to avoid lengthy divorce proceedings. A prenup can simplify the process by outlining a division of assets upfront. This can save time, money, and conflict.
What’s included in a prenup?
A prenup typically outlines how assets like the following will be handled or divided:
•Bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement funds, and property.
•Debts such as mortgages, student loans, and credit cards will be paid off.
•Inheritances and gifts received during the marriage.
•Alimony or spousal support.
•Child custody, child support, and college expenses.
Who Should You Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?
If you’re getting married, having a prenuptial agreement is something you should seriously consider, especially if:
- You own significant assets like a house, investments, or a business. A prenup can determine how these assets would be divided if you divorce.
- You have children from a previous relationship. A prenup can ensure certain assets are passed to your children after you’re gone.
- There is a large difference in your incomes or net worth. A prenup establishes financial independence and can protect you both in case of divorce.
- You want to avoid potential arguments over finances and feel more secure in your marriage. Prenups give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what really matters – your relationship.
So in the end, the choice is up to you and your partner. A prenup may not sound very romantic, but it can save you both a lot of headache and heartache down the road if the unfortunate happens.
For many couples, the process of discussing a prenup actually brings them closer together as they navigate challenging conversations about money, assets, and what they both want. While not legally required, a prenup gives you peace of mind and ensures you’re both on the same page from the get-go.
So think it over, talk it through, and do what feels right for your unique situation. A loving, trusting relationship is the most important thing, with or without a prenup. But if you do decide to get one, make sure you work with a lawyer to draft an agreement you’re both happy with.
Best of luck to you and yours – may you have many joyful years together ahead!