Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement

Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements, sometimes called premarital agreements, seem to be popular among the rich and famous. While they’ve typically been seen as a necessity for only the elite and powerful, that view is changing. The number of couples signing prenups has snowballed. Many millennials are marrying later than previous generations, so they have more time to build up assets they may wish to protect from the potential of a divorce.

If you and your significant other are planning to marry, you may wonder if you need a premarital agreement. You may also want to know what a prenup does, and how can it protect both you and your assets if you divorce. The divorce law in many states can place burdens on divorcing couples. Consequently, it is crucial to give some thought to protecting yourself and your assets in case you end up getting a divorce one day.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that couples enter into before marrying. It spells out what will happen to any property, assets, income, and debt if a divorce or separation comes into the picture. A premarital agreement may also include an alimony agreement; however, it may not include anything related to the custody or support of the children.

Asking your soon-to-be spouse to sign a premarital agreement can certainly be awkward. In reality, though, it doesn’t have to be. While you may be tempted to skip that conversation and avoid the discomfort that comes with it, there are less emotionally-challenging ways to approach it. 

A premarital agreement discussion can be made a little easier when it’s viewed as a “financial talk” between the two of you. Let your fiance know that it’s not because there’s anything wrong with them or your relationship, rather, you wish to have a rational conversation about the future. Don’t forget to remind them that a prenup provides protection for both of you. Make time for this conversation well before the wedding so both of you can process and plan, then have the agreement drawn up if you both decide a prenup is necessary.

Reasons You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

How do you make the decision that you need a premarital agreement? Consider if any of the following apply to your situation.

  • One of you brings in a substantial income

Upon divorce, partners who make significantly more than the other during their marriage may have to pay spousal support. The longer you stay married, and the higher your income becomes, the greater your risk of owing alimony payments. This can also come into play if one of you gives up your career and salary to stay home with the children.

  • One or the other of you have kids from a previous relationship

Prenuptial agreements can be written to preserve property and future income for your kids. This might otherwise be included in the marital estate and be subject to division if there is no prenup. 

  • One or the other of you has significant assets

If you have substantial assets going into a marriage, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that the assets remain separate from the marital estate.

If you decide you want to look into a prenuptial agreement further, an attorney can help. If marrying without a prenup puts you at risk of losing something valuable in the event of a divorce, you may want to protect yourself before it is too late. Better safe than sorry. Contact a family law attorney, like a family attorney in Tampa, FL, in your area to discuss your unique situation.

Thanks to The McKinney Law Group for their insight into the reasons a couple may want to have a prenuptial agreement.