Protecting Your Money: Why Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement if You Love Each Other?
"Prenup" is typically a word that many couples avoid because of the negative stereotypes associated with prenuptial agreements.
While brides are focused on choosing a wedding gown, picking flowers, finding the perfect music and planning a perfect reception, grooms are busy planning a fantastic honeymoon that they will never forget.
Neither one wants to take away from the bliss of planning their wedding and future together by discussing and making arrangements for ending their marriage.
For many couples, the thought of discussing a prenuptial agreement, also known as a pre-marital agreement, puts a definite negative tone on the wedding preparations as well as their entire relationship.
They assume that by discussing the financial arrangements they would agree to if their marriage ended, they are somehow “jinxing” themselves or even worse, they are admitting that they do not believe their marriage will last forever.
Whichever person brings up the topic of a prenuptial agreement risks the other partner accusing him or her of not having faith and trust that their relationship is permanent. Discussing how you and your partner would end your marriage now may not seem romantic but it is much better than dealing with the issues during a divorce.
Right now, you both respect each other, you are calm, rationale and willing to compromise. In a divorce situation, emotions run high and parties give in to those emotions rather than thinking rationally.
Advantage of a Prenuptial
Several advantages of having a prenuptial agreement including:
- Protecting your pre-marital assets
- Protecting your children from a previous marriage
- Defining what will constitute marital property and how that property will be divided upon divorce
- Saves money in a divorce because all issues have already been settled
- Sets forth rules and procedures for settling future matters and issues related to divorce
- Clarify agreements regarding spousal support
- Allows both parties to discuss issues and communicate in a healthy, loving environment
Why Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
The reality of the world today is that most couples are no longer “just starting” with a few dollars and their dreams.
Many people are waiting until after they finish college and they have established their career before thinking about settling down, getting married and starting a family.
In many of today’s relationships, the man and the woman have been working and accumulating assets for some time before they decide to tie the knot.
Therefore, one or both parties may have substantial assets that they are bringing into the marriage. While neither person wants to consider a divorce, it is something that does happen with far more frequency than a few decades ago. The marriages of today are no longer the ones of our parents and grandparents.
Couples must protect themselves and their assets even amid wedded bliss.
A Second or Subsequent Marriage
If you are remarrying, your current financial position and the issues that you must consider are far different from your first marriage. You may own your home and have children from your previous marriage to protect.
Because you are also older, you must consider your retirement plans and how to ensure you have the funds necessary to pay your expenses during retirement. You also want to make sure that if you pass away, your children from your previous marriage are not cut off or left out of your estate.
You Have Substantial Assets
Coming into a marriage with substantial assets should not be considered a negative factor; however, you do want to take steps to ensure that your assets are protected in the event of a divorce. In some states, divorce laws entitle each spouse to claim one-half of the other person’s assets.
Having a prenuptial agreement will protect your assets by defining what is considered marital assets and what assets will remain pre-marital property.
You can also make it clear that proceeds from the sale of pre-marital property or other income associated with the pre-marital property will remain the sole property of the spouse who owned the property before the marriage.
You Own a Business
It is especially important to have a prenuptial agreement if you already own your own business before your marriage.
This not only protects you but it also protects your business partners. Having an ex-spouse as a business partner is not something that you want in the event of a divorce.
Your Future Spouse Has Substantial Debt
Everyone can make a mistake managing their money or have a financial crisis that creates a heavy debt load.
If you are marrying someone with a heavy debt load, having a prenuptial agreement can protect you from becoming responsible for that debt.
Staying Home to Raise a Family
Having one parent stay home fulltime to be with the children as they grow up is something that many couples desire. However, if one parent will be quitting a successful job to remain at home, he or she must have a prenuptial agreement to ensure that the financial burden of raising the children will be equitably divided between the parties.
Quitting your job leaves you without an independent source of income. The prenuptial agreement ensures that should your marriage end, you will have made arrangements for spousal support to help you as you adjust until you can take steps to get your career back on track.
Contact a Prenuptial Attorney
If you have questions regarding prenuptial agreements, you should contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options. Having sound legal advice is the first step in protecting your interests.
Jack W. Carney-DeBord is licensed and admitted to the practice law in the State of Ohio-ONLY. Jack has no intention of soliciting clients in any state other than Ohio and nothing posted on this website should be viewed as an attempt to solicit or do business in ANY state other than the State of Ohio.
The content on this website is provided as general information only and is not legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based upon information provided in this site without first consulting legal counsel.
The use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jack's Law Office.
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