Although it may feel awkward thinking about a marriage failing before you have exchanged vows, many people do worry about what could happen in the event of divorce. This is particularly true as couples marry later in life or have been wed previously potentially bringing significant income, assets and debt into marriage. In our practice, we have found prenuptial agreements to be an effective tool to solve asset division and spousal support issues by memorializing couples’ agreement on these issues while they still have a strong, connected relationship.
Prenuptial agreements are signed before a couple exchanges vows and can be uncomfortable and challenging because they force couples to settle what are often very personal and difficult topics. However, they also raise important financial issues that should be addressed before marriage. Many couples find it difficult to have an honest conversation about finances. However, one of the chief benefits of a prenup is that it encourages financial discussions, including each party’s financial expectations and values. In addition, it compels full disclosure because a prenup is only enforceable to the extent that parties disclose all money, property and debt they have accumulated.
Based on this shared information, both parties can make informed decisions about how to divide assets in the event of divorce or death. They can also set out rights to spousal support during and after the marriage. The key point to remember is that like any contract, these matters should be carefully negotiated and vetted by an attorney for each party to ensure they are fair and address the needs of each spouse.
While a prenup could be a sticky topic to introduce into your relationship, having one could save you a lot of time and money if you ever decide to separate or divorce. A prenup can also help couples learn how to have difficult conversations as those kinds of discussions can frequently be more difficult when the emotions of a particular problem arise. We seek to find the best solutions to protect our client’s interests. Please contact us to learn how we can help.
If you are already married, learn more about post-nuptial agreements.