Getting married is an exciting time, but it’s also important to be sensible about it. When you marry, you also often blend your finances and, if you later decide to divorce, you may find that you and a soon-to-be ex don’t agree about who should get what. With a prenuptial agreement that contains the right provisions, many of the decisions related to the ownership and division of assets and property including a house, cars, bank accounts and retirement and investment accounts; are already worked out and agreed upon. Taking the time to draft a prenuptial agreement can, therefore, make the divorce process easier and, ideally, the related financial implications less burdensome.
Does asking for a prenup set a marriage up to fail?
Some people argue that asking for a prenup is unfair or untrusting or that it’s just setting a couple up for divorce. However, in today’s world where roughly 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce, it can also be argued that having a prenuptial agreement is simply a smart and responsible step to take prior to entering into a marriage. In reality, people who are getting married should have open and honest discussions about their finances and how they feel about sharing or not sharing those finances if their marriage ends.
What provisions should be included in a prenup?
Including the proper provisions in a prenuptial agreement is very important; not only to protect your best interests, but to also ensure that the document will be upheld and enforced by the courts should you later divorce. In general a prenup should only include information that relates to financial matters including property, debt protection, estate planning, family property, provisions for children from previous marriages and marital responsibilities from a financial perspective.
A prenuptial agreement should not contain any provisions that relate to or promote the following:
- Illegal behaviors
- Child custody decisions
- Child support amounts
- Waiver of rights to alimony
- Promote or provide a financial incentive for divorce
Do I need an attorney?
In a word, yes. While, creating a prenup may be more or less complicated depending on the types and amount of assets you bring to a marriage, it’s very important to make sure that a prenup is properly drafted and executed.