Prenuptial agreements seem to get a pretty bad rap, but are they as bad as people make them out to be? There are many things people do not know or understand about prenuptial agreements, or ‘prenups’. Are they just for the rich and famous? Are they unfair? Do they mean you do not trust your partner? Let’s break down what they are so that you will know if you should get a prenup.
Prenuptial Agreement: Necessary Pre-Wedding Decisions
What are Prenups?
When you are planning a wedding, whether you should get a prenup may be the last thing you want to think about. While some people associate these arrangements with someone already having their mind on divorce, prenups can actually be a smart decision for both parties. A prenuptial agreement will go over how a couple will split their finances. Also, it lays out what each person came into the marriage with and how they would split their assets and debts.
You can customize these agreements to fit your needs. They can even have verbiage written in that the arrangement expires after kids come into the picture, or after you have been married and built a life together after a certain number of years. Even if you don’t want to think of it this way, marriage is ultimately a contract between two people. If that contract ends without any provisions, your assets will be split right down the middle, no matter what anyone came into the marriage with. In a way, they are like an insurance policy. You hope you never have to use it but it can protect you if you do need to use it.
There are many reasons why some would consider a prenup, and they do not all include being married to a celebrity. Anyone can get a prenuptial agreement. For example, one or both parties could have already been married previously. Therefore, they could come into the marriage with children, child support, or multiple properties that you do not want to get mixed in with other finances. While there are wills for this too, a prenuptial arrangement can also ensure assets will be set aside for their children.
Coming into a marriage, one spouse could have a lot more wealth, or a lot more debt, than the other. A prenup can actually protect you from assuming half of your spouse’s pre-marital debt in the event of a divorce. This also can apply to keeping a business separate if a spouse had it before coming into the marriage.
Other Reasons for Prenups
Some people marry quickly, after knowing each other only a short time. In this case, you may not know your spouse very well. You may decide that you should get a prenuptial agreement in order to protect yourself in this case. Fortunately, you can make amendments to these arrangements after you are married. Therefore, are not locked into anything written in the prenup if you decide to change it later.
If you are still unsure if you should get a prenuptial agreement, you could talk with a marriage counselor. Remember, signing a prenup does not mean you are going into the marriage expecting a divorce. It really is just a smart decision that can protect both parties.