To Prenup or Not Prenup - That is the Question

Image by chauromano on FlickrIt used to be that prenuptial agreements were viewed as negative documents that suggested the marriage was doomed even before the wedding began. But not anymore. While no one wants to focus on an untimely parting at such a happy time, smart people take a break from looking at wedding favors and are taking a look at the pluses and minuses of signing a prenup with their partner.

As the very helpful site Prenuptial Agreements (www.prenuptialagreements.org) notes, “All marrying couples have a ‘prenuptial agreement’ – it is known as ‘divorce law.’” In the event of a divorce, there are certain laws that will automatically kick in. They vary by the state you reside and/or were married in, but they are very specific about what’s going to take place at break-up. So, some couples want to take matters into their own hands and decide ahead of time, should the unthinkable split occur, how their assets and finances will be distributed.

You should contact a lawyer who specializes in prenuptial agreements if you are even thinking of creating one. And while this article is not intended to offer legal advice of any kind, there are a few reasons you might want to consider drafting a prenup.

If you are marrying for the second time and want to protect what you already have as far as money for your children’s education, the house you currently own, etc., you’ll want to get that set down in ink. Also, if you have a lot of assets or are making a great deal of money, you’ll want a say in where that money goes should you split. And the prenup can also be the deciding factor in discerning how much alimony must be paid out or can be claimed should the marriage break up.

Image by dweekly on FlickrBut what if you’re not making much or don’t have many monetary assets? Should you still consider the prenup? A prenup can protect the partner who is not as well off financially from being cut off in the event of a divorce. Once you are accustomed to living in a certain style, it can be devastating to think about returning to a cold water flat alone. This will help secure your future.

There are other reasons to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Say you’re the owner of a small business. Do you know what would happen to your business if you and your partner split? Do all the years of hard work you put in before you met your spouse get split 50/50? If you have a prenup, it can state how much, if any, of your business can be touched by the other party.

One final reason behind the prenup that often surfaces in old Hollywood movies is to see if the person you are marrying really loves you or your money. If your intended refuses to sign the agreement, it may mean you should look at your situation more closely.

A sound prenuptial agreement is designed to protect both parties, not just one. So if you feel you’ve been asked to sign a document that is unfairly biased against you, get your own lawyer to look at it. And then take her advice!

Perhaps the loveliest part of the prenuptial agreement is what’s called the Sunset Clause. This little clause, when included in the document, allows that if you and your spouse are married a certain number of years, the agreement becomes invalid. That’s something to look forward to in your golden years!

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One Response to To Prenup or Not Prenup - That is the Question

  • Gabriel Cole says:

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