Is a Prenup Right For Us?

IMG_3516 by caimito77, on FlickrWhat is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between a couple before they are married. It sets rules about how each person’s assets will be split up in the case of divorce. It’s safe to say that the stigma around prenuptials isn’t going away anytime soon. Talking about divorce before you even get married can really put a damper on those blissful feelings. However, many lawyers will tell you it’s one of life’s necessary evils.

Who Needs One?

Prenups are popular in Hollywood and generally wealthy couples in order to protect their riches. But it’s perfectly all right for a couple of lesser means to sign a prenup for their own reasons. Prenups can be used in cases where the couple has children from a previous marriage, and they want to outline specific properties and assets that will go to the kids. Other times it can protect spouses from each other’s debts. It can also be used in general to clarify people’s financial rights or whether or not a spouse would receive alimony in the event of a divorce. If you are wondering if you and your spouse need a prenup, think about the following questions:

  • Do you own any real estate properties?
  • Besides real estate, do you own $50,000 in any other properties?
  • Are you a business owner?
  • Will all or part of your estate go to someone other than your spouse when you die?

Asunder by dno1967b, on FlickrDisadvantages of a Prenup

It’s important to consider all aspects of a prenup before you decide to have one written up. Some disadvantages of a prenup include the following:

  • Some state laws may already protect you in the same way a prenup does. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but a prenup may be necessary is state laws already provide you with the protections you’re looking for.
  • It’s just a buzzkill. What better way to kill the mood before your wedding than to go through the prenup process.  Couples simply don’t like having to think about divorce before they even get married.
  • Having to discuss financial issues can be a bummer, but discussing these issues could potentially put a strain on your relationship that you hadn’t considered earlier. Your relationship may still be young and untested at this point.

Advantages of a Prenup

Aside from the obvious legal advantages, like protecting your separate property or clarifying specific agreements between you and your partner, there can be another added bonus. While some people think that a prenup is an easy way to get into an argument with your significant other, it can actually improve and strengthen your relationship. Yes, it could lead to conflict or an argument, but a prenup is going to bring up issues that are important for you and your spouse to talk about and agree upon. It’s better to communicate with each other on each other’s expectations and feelings about important issues that are involved in a prenup instead of waiting until it’s too late to hash it out. Simply put, speaking to one another frankly about money and assets will clear up a lot of misconceptions and false expectations.

Author Bio:

Emily Kaltman is a writer for Carroll Troberman Criminal Defense based out of Austin, Texas. She likes to write about law, and also enjoys having a clean criminal record.

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