If you are getting married, chances are you have a lot on your plate when it comes to planning your wedding. When most people think of wedding planning they picture florals, table décor, and a long white bridal gown.
However, there is one important decision that needs to be made before the big day; one that is often overlooked or forgotten. You need to decide whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement (prenup).
Some couples do not want everything they own to be joined in matrimony. Most people either love or hate the idea of a prenup, and many factors can influence the decision to sign one or not to sign one.
What Exactly Is a Prenup?
A prenup is a legal agreement that you come to with your future spouse where you predetermine what happens to your assets and liabilities in the unfortunate event that your marriage ends in divorce. It is signed by both parties and often put in place to protect any personal assets, acquisitions, property, liabilities, trust funds, family wealth, etc.
However, prenups are also used to protect one from any substantial debt (i.e. student loans) that their spouse may have accumulated prior to tying the knot.
This agreement basically allows you to leave your marriage exactly how you came into it but can also be used to keep assets and debts separate even during the marriage.
Although nobody wants to believe that they may fall victim to a failed marriage, the reality is that not all marriages have a fairy-tale ending.
Who Should Get a Prenup?
You are now probably wondering, “do I really need prenup?” There are many different factors and situations that may create the need for this legal agreement before marriage. Today we will touch on five reasons why you should get a prenup.
Agreements Prevent Disagreements
Establishing your financial expectations before marriage is always a good idea to ensure that you and your future spouse see eye to eye. By doing so, you will prevent arguments and frustration down the road.
To Protect Your Property and Assets Acquired During and Before Marriage
It is important to protect valuable property and assets that not only hold monetary value, but also sentimental or family value. No one wants to lose the cottage that has been in their family for over 50 years to a nasty divorce.
To Set the Tone for Financial Transparency During Marriage
Financial disagreements can be quite the burden on a marriage and can oftentimes lead to divorce. It is important to be upfront and honest about each individual’s financial status and philosophies.
To Protect One From the Other’s Acquired Debt
A prenup will avoid one becoming responsible for the other’s debts. No one wants to be surprised to find out that they just married into substantial debt that they were unaware of, or to end up paying student loans on an education that you didn’t receive.
To Protect Your Children
Divorce is detrimental to all parties involved, but especially to children. In the event of a divorce, predetermining how to split assets and liabilities will help to minimize any negative effects on children involved.
How Do You Get a Prenup?
The saying “the first step is admitting,” really comes into play here. If you have decided that a prenup may be right for your marriage, or if the thought of one has ever crossed your mind, discuss this idea with your future spouse.
It is important for both of you to be on the same page through all steps of your engagement, especially when it comes to a legal agreement associated with money.
Explain to your partner your reasoning for wanting a prenup and why you believe it is the smart thing to do. From there, you should decide the terms together and what you each want out of the prenup.
If you have gotten this far, it is time to hire an attorney. Prenups need to be professionally written and documented to ensure that they are valid and effective.
It is important to find an attorney who specializes in marriages, as they have the proper knowledge and experience to ensure that you and your spouse are both protected.