Let’s face it: prenuptial agreements aren’t one of the more fun things to think about while planning a wedding. Although there is stigma surrounding prenups, they’re actually a good way to start a discussion about your future as a couple.
In a nutshell, a prenup is a contract that a couple signs before being married in order to figure out how their finances would be handled in case of a divorce. They cover how you split your finances, what your separate property is, and how you would split up your home. Remember that each state has different laws regarding divorce, so read up on what could happen if you get a divorce before you get a prenup.
There are a few reasons that motivate couples to seek a prenuptial agreement. The first might be that one of you might have been married before. Some circumstances might be different than they were for the first marriage, i.e. child support or multiple properties. You don’t want these things to become tangled up in other finances, so sort them out correctly in the agreement.
Another reason why some couples choose to have a prenup is that one or both of them already have a child. A prenup can dictate what will be left to your children, and leave a financial plan in case one of you should die.
If one of you is much more wealthy than the other, or if one of you has a lot more debt, you should consider a prenup. You may want to protect your assets, or you may want to save yourself from sharing part of their debt should you split.
Maybe one or both of you own a small business and you want to protect your investments. A prenup can be helpful in this regard if you own a family business, a business with your name on it, or own a business with other people.
Some couples choose to get a prenuptial agreement because they had a short engagement. A prenup can be good if you met and quickly decided to get married, because you may not know each other all that well.
If one of you isn’t, or doesn’t plan on, working, a prenup can provide a financial plan for you in case of divorce. If you’re staying home to care for a child, the plan would not extend to the child, only to the person who was staying home to care for them.
The idea of planning in case of a divorce right before you get married might seem inappropriate for some couples, and that’s okay! However, if you still want the protection a prenup provides, you can get a postnuptial agreement. You can get this anytime after you’re married. Don’t forget that you can also alter the prenup after you get married if circumstances change.
Be aware that discussing this with your spouse-to-be might put a bit of a damper on your wedding excitement. However, don’t let that stop you from making a responsible decision for your financial future if that’s what’s best.