We often see the word “prenup’ thrown around in magazines, especially when they’re talking about celebrities that are set to tie the knot. A prenuptial agreement is often associated with the rich, due to their assets that are worth a pretty penny. However, it is fast becoming the norm for couples across the board, who are wanting to protect themselves and their assets, should the marriage fail – regardless of their financial status or the value of their assets.
Source: Huffington Post
What is a prenuptial agreement, exactly?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that’s drawn up by two people before they marry. It is usually created to protect both parties financially, in the unfortunate event of a divorce. With regards to the protection of assets; the ownership of their assets as a couple and the ownership of the assets as individuals are identified. An agreement is made as to what happens to these assets, if the marriage fails. The way in which this is done, is usually by separating that which has been brought into the marriage and that which has been acquired during the marriage. However, this isn’t the only factor that can be outlined. Depending on what the couple decides, they may want to settle on an agreement with regards to what happens, should one partner cheat, or detail certain decisions they’ve made; for example, the decision to have one partner not work and be financially supported by the breadwinner. Detailing these commitments in writing, will ensure that neither party can leave the marriage and argue against what has been settled on, in court.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Most people are fearful of discussing these serious matters, as they are afraid it will put a damper on their relationship. Surprisingly, it’s just the opposite. It gives both parties peace of mind that they are protected, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen in the future. It has more to do with being organized and protecting the future of both individuals, rather than being something negative. It’s important that a couple who are set to marry, are on the same page in every aspect, and a prenup allows for this.
If you are still unsure whether a prenup is necessary for you as a couple, family lawyers advise that if you decide to own property together, or if there has been a decision made that one party will be a homemaker and not work, there should be a prenuptial agreement. In the case where one party could potentially be at risk financially, should there be a divorce, it is safer to iron out the agreement prior to the marriage, in the form of a prenup.
Good Reasons, to Get a Prenup
Set your own rules
If you opt not to get a prenuptial agreement, and the marriage fails; the outcome of what happens thereafter lays in the hands of the state. The marital assets will be split according to the state’s divorce laws, which may not play in your, or either of your favors. By drawing up your own contract and settling an agreement prior to the nuptials – which considers both of you fairly, reduces the risk of you losing what is rightfully yours. Having your own agreement as a couple, reduces the anxiety of what could potentially happen in an unpleasant situation, as well as gives you control over your marriage, instead of having it lay in the hands of outsiders.
Protect what is rightfully yours
If you have inherited a property, for example – you want this protected, because it’s rightfully yours. The prenup would then state, that regardless of what happens, and whether or not the asset was acquired during the marriage – the property remains yours, in an event of a divorce. If there was no prenup to refer to, this may be difficult to argue, especially if the state feels otherwise, with regards to property laws and marriage. The fact that you’ll have to prove the ownership of your assets (whether an inheritance or not), doesn’t seem fair. But, a prenup will act as proof, without you having to say a word about what’s yours.
Unfortunately, we always have to think of our future and plan ahead, even if we’re dead certain that nothing will go wrong within our marriage. It’s like taking out disability cover – we’re pretty certain that nothing will go wrong, and 90% of the time it doesn’t, but we plan for the future, regardless. Like they say; rather be safe than sorry. A prenup will protect your financial future as an individual – and, as a women who may have children, this is vitally important – not just for you, but for them too.
Good Reasons to Not Get a Prenup
There is never a right time to bring it up
The moments leading up to a nuptials, is blissful – it’s a happy time for both people, and the thought of bringing up something as serious as a prenup, doesn’t always seem fitting. However, if two people fully trust each other and only want the best for each other, regardless of what the future holds, then a chat such as this, shouldn’t cause friction at all.
The state laws may already align with both of your agreements
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the current laws, so that you can make an informed decision. The state laws may already align with both of your desires and will save you from having to draw a contract up – which costs a fair penny.
A court can override some provisions that they deem unfair
Whether or not you sign a prenup; if there are provisions that are clearly unfair, and only sees one of the parties benefiting during a divorce; the court can override these agreements.
At the end of the day, the decision lies with you as a couple. Some may be for it, others may be against it, but the best way to decide what route to take, is to chat to your partner and find out their views on prenups. Honesty is the best policy, and you can’t go wrong with having a chat that’s transparent and takes into consideration the other person’s feelings on the matter. You may find that you both have the same idea – and you don’t have to ponder on the decision any longer. Or you may find that you have different opinions on prenuptial agreements, which will then give you both an opportunity to talk it through and come to a conclusion together.