A prenuptial agreement is a contract you and your future spouse enter before marriage detailing terms regarding property rights. A prenup can protect your non-marital property and help the possible future divorce process go more smoothly, but it also has the potential to strengthen your marriage.
A prenup can be especially important to have if you are entering your second marriage. At this stage in your life, you may have significant assets that you want to protect, such as a house, a vacation property and a retirement fund. You may also have children from a previous marriage that you want to be able to financially assist, or you may even have already experienced a nasty divorce, which you would like to avoid experiencing again.
How might a prenup benefit me?
Money and communication are some of the top reasons for divorce, so a prenup can be a helpful tool to strengthen your marriage by preventing any misunderstandings from occurring regarding sensitive matters like money. Also, if you end up dealing with divorce, a prenup can protect you from making decisions out of anger, and it can also protect you by preventing your future spouse from making decisions out of anger.
With a prenup, you and your future spouse can plan:
- How you and your future spouse will financially support yourselves
- How you and your future spouse plan to use retirement assets
- How household expenses will be divided
- What property will be considered non-marital property if you ever divorce
- What method of divorce will be used, in the event divorce is necessary
You can also use a prenup to set the requirement for an estate plan to be put in place with a specific goal in mind. This can be a way to protect the inheritance of children from a previous marriage.
Determining if you should have a prenuptial agreement or not is a very personal decision. Talking with your future spouse about signing a prenup may not be romantic, but it may help ensure your interests and your future spouse’s interests are being protected in an honest way that can strengthen your marriage and prevent a nasty divorce experience.