Are you getting married and wondering if you should get a prenuptial agreement before saying “I Do?” Below are tips to help you decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people that deals with the financial consequences should the marriage end.
When entering marriage, every couple has a so called “prenuptial agreement.” However, a large number of people do not realize that it is known as “divorce law.” Many people are dissatisfied by the way the divorce law works, so they take matters into their own hands, and customize their own pre-nup agreement before the marriage begins.
Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement
In today’s society, the divorce rate is so high, many people feel it's common sense to get a prenuptial agreement signed before your upcoming nuptials. Below are several reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be the right choice for you.
1) You earn more money than your spouse. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, it may be of his or her best interest to have a prenuptial agreement. The pre-nup can be used to limit the amount of alimony that is payable to the other spouse if divorce occurs.
2) You are wealthier than your spouse. A pre-nup can assure you that your spouse is marrying you for who you are and not your money or assets.
3) Your spouse has high debt. If one spouse has a significant amount of debt compared to the other and he or she does not want to be responsible for their debt if the marriage ends in divorce, a prenuptial agreement can protect the other spouse from assuming all of his or her debt. If a pre-nup is not signed and the spouse with high debt claims bankruptcy, according to the bankruptcy and credit bureau, creditors may still go after the spouse to collect payment.
4) You own part of a business. A prenuptial agreement can protect your business and make sure it is not divided among your spouse.
5) You are remarrying. If you are remarrying, many of your legal and financial obligations are different from your first marriage. You may have assets such a house or children from a previous marriage. A prenuptial agreement will ensure that your assets are distributed the way you want them to if you pass away.
6) You are poorer than your spouse. A pre-nup can ensure that the spouse who does not have much money is financially protected as well.
7) To protect inheritance rights. A prenuptial agreement can protect the inheritance rights of your children or grandchildren from a previous marriage ensuring that they are left with what you have intended.
Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial in a variety of ways to help protect your assets. If any of these reasons are important to you, a prenuptial agreement may be a right move before tying the knot.
Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement
There are also some disadvantages to a prenuptial agreement, especially for the person who has been asked to sign one. There are many legal and psychological issues that complicate prenups.
1) Your inheritance rights might be compromised. By signing a pre-nup, it may eliminate your right to inherit your spouse’s estate if he or she passes away.
2) Your feelings are hurt. Trying to negotiate a prenuptial agreement may damage your relationship before the wedding even takes place. The person forced to sign the pre-nup may feel like there is lack of trust and may wonder if the marriage will last. A pre-nup puts stipulations on a marriage before it has even started.
3) It is expensive. A pre-nup can be expensive depending on how complex your finances are and how long the negotiations may take. They can cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars if you work with an attorney. There are also do-it-yourself agreements that can be found online; however, you must be careful how you write the pre-nup and make sure both spouses understand the terms and conditions. If it is not written carefully, the judge may challenge the agreement if he or she feels it was written incorrectly.
4) Enforceability. Some states can limit what can be included in your prenuptial agreement. If your agreement includes unapproved items, it may be dismissed in court. States also require that pre-nups be fair and and equitable. Check with your state to see what they consider unapproved items.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?
Before tying the knot, each couple should sit down and really weigh the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement before entering one. Be as honest as possible, and don't let either member of the agreement feel bullied. It is an extremely important agreement that really affects the rest of your life. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a prenuptial agreement, visit an attorney in your city or state.