If you are preparing to marry, a prenuptial agreement is not likely to be foremost on your mind. After all, you want your marriage to last. A prenuptial agreement, however, does not mean that you are hedging your bets or are not in it for the long haul. A prenuptial agreement – or prenup – is simply a legal contract that can provide both you and your soon-to-be spouse with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have taken the time and care to protect your own interests – in case your marriage should end in divorce.
More and more people are getting married later in life, and this means that they often come into marriage with more complicated financials. This is especially true of second marriages. For young couples who are just starting out and who have very straightforward financial situations, a prenuptial agreement is not likely necessary. If, on the other hand, you come to marriage with a more robust financial history, a well-crafted prenup is likely a good idea.
A Collaborative Prenuptial Agreement
If you and your intended – along with your attorneys – take a collaborative approach to creating your prenup, you may well find creative ways to protect your separate financial assets while strengthening your upcoming marriage. A prenup can take a good deal of uncertainty out of the divorce equation, which can provide you with increased motivation to build a strong marriage.
What a Prenup Can Do
A prenup provides you with a legal roadmap for how your property will be divided in case of divorce. It can also light the way for how you will manage money and property during your marriage. Further, a prenup can address how your property will be divided when one of you dies. This can be especially important if one or both of you bring children into the marriage. Prenuptial agreements used to be only for the wealthy, but that is no longer the case. As our lives and our financial situations become more and more complicated, prenuptial agreements have become increasingly popular for people at nearly every income level.
What a Prenup Cannot Do
While prenups are valuable legal tools, there are things that they cannot do for you. For one thing, a prenup cannot predict the future, and financial decisions that you make now may not serve you as well 10 or 20 years from now. Further, if a judge determines that all or part of your prenup is “unconscionable” – unfairly favoring one party over the other – he or she can deny that portion of the prenuptial agreement.