Prenuptial agreements enable prospective spouses to decide and delineate, prior to marriage, their rights and obligations if their marriage ends – either because of the death of one spouse or by divorce. A prenuptial agreement allows you and your fiancé to determine together, in advance, what you think is fair and what you want things to look like should your marriage end. Prenuptial agreements aren’t indicative of a lack of trust; often the associated conversations help lead to a stronger marriage.
Many of our clients have shared that they found the prenuptial agreement process not only productive but that it lead to a deeper understanding of their partner’s feelings about finances and the future. In their opinion, sitting down and discussing both partners’ future financial plans and expectations for the relationship led to a more solid foundation than they otherwise might have had.
Prenups Are Not Just For the Wealthy
There is a lingering perception out there that prenuptial agreements are just a way for the wealthy to protect their assets. In reality, prenuptial agreements are nothing to be afraid of and are an opportunity for any engaged couple to clearly lay out financial plans in case worse comes to worst. You want to enjoy a healthy, robust marriage – and fully discussing money plans is a great way to get there. Also, divorces are financially and emotionally expensive, and prenuptial agreements can minimize painful and expensive fighting.
In addition to the benefits described above for any engaged couple, regardless of income, couples with complicated assets such as business ownership or real estate, children from a previous marriage, or one spouse giving up a career to raise children can especially benefit from a prenuptial agreement.
Entering into a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean anything negative about your relationship. It does not indicate a lack of trust or love. It does not predict or affect the outcome of your marriage. It can, however, predict and affect certain outcomes in the event of a divorce or death.
One way to think of a prenuptial agreement is as a backup plan. Like any other backup plan – the spare tire in your trunk, the flood insurance on your house, the emergency evacuation procedure at work – you don’t expect to use it, and you really hope not to, but thank goodness it’s there if you ever you need it.
In addition to giving you the option to ensure that finances are handled evenly and openly within the marriage, a prenuptial agreement gives you control. Rather than allowing the government and courts to handle your marriage’s finances in the event of a divorce or a death, you and your fiancé get to decide and control how you want things to go. It also provides you with a forum for other discussions that will strengthen your marriage – such as your thoughts about whether both spouses will continue to work if you have children.
If you believe that a prenuptial agreement would be a good approach for and your partner, please contact us.