Prenuptial agreements still have a negative connotation associated with them. Some people believe that getting one shows a lack of trust in their partner while some people believe that it’s a sign that divorce is inevitable even before the marriage begins. However, signing a prenuptial agreement doesn’t automatically mean divorce is in your future or that you don’t trust your partner. There are many benefits to having a prenup, and a few are outlined below:
You Already Have One
Guess what? You already have a prenup. If you don’t create one yourself, chances are that the state or city you live in has laws that will dictate the financial aspects concerning what you would write in your prenup. In essence, by not creating your own, you have given control to the government on what the prenuptial agreement is. Creating your own will help you plan as a couple your own rules to live by instead of defaulting to the legal consequences set out by the government. A prenup means you can still have the legal benefits of marriage while also setting your own terms.
Do you and your partner have vastly different financial situations? Maybe one of you has many times the amount of money the other does. If you don’t like the idea of someone marrying you only for your money, signing a prenup can help you avoid that potential problem down the road.
Obligations Are Clear
Signing a prenuptial agreement is also a good way to make obligations clear before the marriage, especially when it comes to your finances. You might want to divvy up expenses between each other, decide whether you have joint or individual bank accounts, and how finances are going to be handled once you’re married. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on your actual relationship once your financial matters are clearly outlined and understood.
If you go into a marriage already owning property, signing s prenup is a great way to keep everyone’s property separate. For instance, if you’re the sole owner of a house and your marriage unfortunately doesn’t work out down the road, you don’t want that house to revert to your former partner. Or, on the other hand, if you’re going into a second marriage and have a house from your first, you want to make sure that the ownership of the house is all straightened out.
Second or Third Marriage
Going into a second or third marriage means that your finances are very different from when you were entering into your first marriage. You and your partner might have assets you bring to the marriage or even children or other family or financial obligations. Signing a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that if something happens, your assets and obligations are covered. For instance, if you have children from your first and second marriage, you want to make sure that your prenup states that if something happens to you, both families are covered.
No one wants to believe that they may get a divorce, and it’s unfortunate that you even need to think of preparing for such a thing. However, no one knows how the future will affect them or their relationships, so signing a prenuptial agreement and outlining who gets what is a smart idea. Often, when people end a relationship they fight over trivial things such as who owns what, so make sure you settle that beforehand.
You Own a Business
If you own a business or part of a business, a prenuptial agreement will protect your business if something goes wrong with your marriage. It can also help ensure that your partner or spouse does not become involved in your business without your approval.
Protection Against Debt
In this day and age, it’s rare that people don’t have some type of debt associated with their finances. A prenuptial agreement can help protect you against any debt that your spouse or partner brings into your marriage or any future debt they may acquire after you’re married. You can tailor your prenup for each person’s individual debt.
Spousal Support or Alimony
Some people are worried that in the event of a divorce their partner will seek alimony or spousal support. If this is one of your worries, you can specify certain terms in your prenup agreement such as setting a certain amount to pay in alimony or waiving alimony entirely. This might be a good idea to take care of so you don’t encounter any difficulties or disagreements in the future.
Learn About Each Other
Of course, planning and writing a prenuptial agreement can also help you learn more about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. Money is one of the biggest causes of disagreement in relationships, so it’s important to know where you and your partner or spouse stand when it comes to finances. Writing a prenup will help you determine how you feel about certain financial decisions you and your partner make. This may make you realize that you and your spouse or partner have very different feelings about certain things or help you come to a better understanding about your finances.
(Photo courtesy of Lars Plougmann)